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STÈLE DE MESA 



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LBTTRE A M. L.B G" DE VOQUE 



PAB 



CH. GLERMONT-GANNEAU 

UI06MAll-CHA!fCn.IBB DU COUSULAT DB FBAKCB A JÉKUSALBIf 



PARIS 

LIBRAIRIE POLYTECHNIQUE DE J. BAUDRY 

RVB DBS SAINTS-VtalS, 15 



1870 



LA 



STÈLE DE MESA, 



ROI DE MOAB. 



Jérusalem, 16 janvier 1870. 

Depuis très-longtemps je savais, par des rapports d'indigènes et 
de Bédouins, qu'il existait à Dhibân , Fancienne Dibon , de l'autre 
côté de la mer Morte, un gros bloc de pierre noire couvert de carac- 
tères. Je soupçonnai tout d'abord l'importance de ce monument, 
mais je ne songeai pas à aller à Dhibân m'assurer de l'exactitude 
des descriptions qui m'^en avaient été faites ; un voyage transjorda- 
nien est une entreprise difficile et surtout une affaire fort coûteuse. 
Cependant des informations recueillies ultérieurement me donnè- 
rent la certitude que la pierre noire était une stèle et que les carac- 
tères gravés étaient phéniciens. JFe reçus même d'un Arabe de la 
ville, en tournée dans ces parages, la copie très-grossièrement faite 
de plusieurs lignes de l'inscription. Il n'y avait plus de doute pos- 
sible ; je résolus dès-lors de me procurer à tout prix l'estampage 
d'un monument aussi précieux. J'envoyai à Dhibân, avec deux ca- 
valiers de la tribu du cheikh Qablan, un jeune Arabe très-intelli- 
genty Yâqoub Garavacca. Il obtint, non sans difficulté, desBeni- 
Hamîdé ou Hamaîdé, propriétaires de la pierre^ l'autorisation d'en 
prendre un estampage. Pendant l'opération , une de ces querelles si 
fréquentes chez les Bédouins s'éleva entre les Benî-Hamîdé présents ; 
une rixe s'ensuivit^ et mes hommes n'eurent que le temps de rega-- 



— 2 — 

gner leurs chevaux et de partir au galop. Le pauvre Yâqoub eût 
même dans la bagarre la jambe traversée d'un coup de lance. 
L'estampage était perdu sans la présence d'esprit d'un des compa- 
rons de route de Yâqoub, cheikh Djemîl, qui, au milieu de la 
mêlée, se jeta dans le trou au fond duquel était la pierre, arracha le 
papier encore humide qui la recouvrait, en jeta les lambeaux dans 
un pan de son abaye^ sauta sur son cheval et vint rejoindre ventre à 
terre ses deux compag*nons. 

Le but de l'expédition était donc atteint : j'avais un estampage ; 
mais dans quel état, hélas! Les lambeaux tout mouillés s'étaient 
fripés et chiffonnés en séchant, et les caractères n'avaient laissé que 
des traces imperceptibles. On ne pouvait les distinguer que par 
transparence, en interposant la feuille entre l'œil et une bougie ou 
un rayon de soleil. J'en lus cependant a^sez pour me convaincre de 
l'importance capitale de cette découverte. 

Sur ces entrefaites j'eus l'occasion de faire connaissance avec un 
cheikh de la puissante tribu des Beni-Sakher, voisin des Béni- 
Hamfdé. Cheikh *Id el-Faëz avait vu la pierre ; il se fît fort de dé- 
sintéresser les Beni-Hamîdé et de me l'apporter à Jérusalem. Il de- 
manda quatre cents médjidiés dont je lui donnai moitié d'avance. 
C'était une grosse somme et je courais grand risque de ne revoir 
ni pierre, ni argent, ni Bédouin. Au bout de deux semaines, Cheikh 
'Id me rapporta loyalement l'argent, en me disant que, pendant 
qu'il était à Jérusalem à traiter avec moi, les Beni-Hamîdé avaient 
mis l'inscription en pièces; il donnait pour mobile à cet acte de 
sauvagerie incompréhensible une demande qui leur aurait été 
adressée au sujet de ce monument par l'autorité turque^ à qui ils 
voulaient ôler un prétexte d'intervenir dans leurs affaires. Je ne 
croyais pas un mot de toute cette histoire, malgré les assurances for- 
melles de cheikh 'Id. Son récit n'était pourtant que trop vrai, comme 
je viens d'en acquérir la preuve il y a quelques jours seulement. 

Après cet échec, je renonçai momentanément à la stèle de Dhibân, 
^et je m'occupai d'étudier l'estampage en lambeaux que j'en possé- 
dais. La semaine dernière je vis arriver tout à coup cheikh Djemîl, 



— 3 — 

que j'avais envoyé plus tard à la découverte, armé d'une brosse et 
de papier à estampage. Il me rapportait deux estampantes, assez 
adroitement pris d*ailleurs, de deux grands fragments de la pierre, 
plus des petits morceaux de la pierre elle-même avec des caractères. Il 
me fallut bien me rendre à l'évidence. 

Ces renseigpnements concordaient d'ailleurs pleinement avec ceux 
du capilaine Warren, qui était au courant de mon histoire et qui de 
son côté avait mis en campagne un autre Bédouin. Son homme lui 
rapporta également l'estampage des deux mêmes fragments, et quel- 
ques petits morceaux avec des caractères. 

Ayant acquis la certitude de la destruction de ce monument, je me 
mis immédiatement à essayer de le reconstruire avec les éléments 
que j'en possédais : mon premier estampage, qui m'en donnait à peu 
près l'ensemble avec des lacunes malheureusement considérables ; 
mes estampages partiels des deux grands fragments ; la copie, indé- 
chiffrable en elle-même^ de quelques lignes , et les petits morceaux. 

C'est le résultat de ce premier travail que je vous demande de 
soumettre aujourd'hui à l'Académie. Ce résultat, obtenu seulement 
en quelques jours, laisse certainement beaucoup à désirer. On est 
loin encore, je l'espère, du degré qu'une étude plus suivie permettra 
d'atteindre. Mais je me h&te de le livrer tel quel à la publicité, ne 
voulant pas retarder davantage la connaissance d'un monument 
aussi précieux pour la science. 

D'après les détails qui m'ont été donnés par différentes personnes, 
la pierre était un gros bloc massif, mesurant cinq empans (chiber) 
de hauteur, sur trois de largeur et environ autant d'épaisseur. D'a- 
près les estampages, elle aurait eu 1 mètre de hauteur et 0,60 centi- 
mètres de largeur, avec une épaisseur égale. La pierre, comme j'ai 
pu m'en assurer «fi? vin/, par les morceaux qui m'en ont été rapportés, 
est une sorte de basalte d'un noir bleuâtre, semé de paillettes bril- 
lantes, à l'intérieur, et couvert d'une patine mate brune sur les parties 
de la face gravées. Le grain compacte de cette pierre donnait au mo^ 
nument un poids énorme et en aurait, rendu le transport très- 
difBcile. 



— 4 — 

La forme de la stèle était celle d'un carré long', terminé en haut 
par une partie arrondie ; l'angple inférieur de droite était déjà cassé 
depuis fort longtemps. 

J'ai compté trente-quatre ligpnes dans ce que m'ont fourni mes es- 
tampages. Les lignes du haut sont plus courtes que les autres, la 
pierre diminuant de largeur à sa partie supérieure. La moyenne des 
lettres par ligne est de trente-trois à trente-cinq. Le long de la partie 
droite régnait une espèce de petit rebord faisant encadrement et se 
prolongeant presque jusqu'au bas. Il avait disparu à gttuche. 

Les caractères sont petits comparativement à la superficie qu'ils 
recouvrent; ils sont peu profondément gravés à cause de Textrême 
dureté delà pierre. Plusieurs d'entre eux doivent être peu lisibles sur 
la pierre même, car, chaque fois que j'ai voulu recourir à la copie 
partielle pour une lettre douteuse dans mon estampage, la lettre 
avait été sautée par le copiste. Une remarque du plus haut intérêt, 
c'est qxjue tous les mots sont séparés par des points et que le texte est divisé 
en versets par des barres verticales; ce qui aide singulièrement au dé- 
chiffrement et à l'interprétation, 

L'esquisse ci-jointe, qui donne lescaractères de grandeur naturelle^ 
est une restitution obtenue par le rapprochement et la superposition 
de l'estampage en lambeaux et des deux estampages partiels. Le 
trait bleu indique les déchirures du premier, la ligne ponctuée les 
limites des deux autres (1). 

La concordance des lignes, déterminée à grand'peine et vérifiée à 
plusieurs reprises, peut être considérée comme certaine. Ce dessin 
est accompagné de quelques estampages des petits morceaux av^c 
caractères, que je possède. 



(i) J'ai réduit l'esquisse de M. Ganneau au tiers de Toriginal et l'ai fait reproduire sur la 
planche qui accompagne cette brochure; j'ai également reproduit les traits ponctués qui indi- 
quent les limites des grands fragments : mais j'ai supprimé les traits bleus qui compliquaient 
singulièrement le dessin fait aune aussi petite échelle ; je puis d*ailleurs certifier des nombreuses 
déchirures de l'estampage dont j'ai tenu les sept morceaux entre mes mains à Jérusalem. 
M. V. 



TRANSCRIPTION 



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TRADUCTION 



1. Moi, je suis Mesa, fils de Ghamos[nadab] ? roi 

2 Il Mon père rég'nait sur Moab et moi j'ai 

3. régné après mon père jj Et j'ai construit ce haut lieu (sanc- 

tuaire), avec sa plate-forme (?), pour Ghamos 

4. (Je m'appelle) Mesa^ parce qu'il (Ghamos) m'a sauvé (""lUtt^n) 

de tous les à tous les 

deux(?) 

5 du roi d'Israël .... et il opprima Moab Ghamos 

s'irrita 

6 Il Et il le chang^ea j'opprimerai 

(j'ai opprimé?) Moab. || Dans mes jours j'ai {ou : il a?) dit.... 

7. et je le vis, lui et sa maison (son temple?). || Et Israël fut dis- 

persé, dispersé pour toujours, et Omri s'empara de 

8. Medeba (?) et y demeura il construisit 

quarante 

9. où Ghamos est (dominant) dans mes jours (aujourd'hui) || Et je 

construisis Baal-Meon et j'y sacrifiai || Et je construisis. . .] 

10. Qiriathaïm || Et envahitla terre. . . . anciennement; et 

se construisit 

H . le roi d'Israël la (ville de) II Et je combattis à Qir [ou : 

je fis le siège) et je le pris || Et je tuai tous les 

12 (.sacrifice!) pour Ghamos et pour Moab || 

13 devant la face de Ghamos, à Qerioth, || Et j'y fis prison- 
niers les hommes (vieux?) et les 

44. de la jeunesse (aurore) || Et Ghamos me dit : Va! prends la do- 
mination sur Israël. || 

15. J'allai de nuit, et je combattis avec lui depuis le de 

l'aube, jusqu'à midi || et je* . . . . 

16 tout entier 

17 qui est pour Astàr Ghamos 



— 7 — 

18 Jahveh (Jehovah ?)...... devant la face de Ghamos 

Il Et le roi d'Israël [vint à] 

19. Yahas, et y demeura (jusqu'à?) mon combat avec lui || Et 

Ghamos le chassa de 

20. Je pris de Moab deux cents hommes en tout || Et je les Bt mon- 

ter (les comptai) à Yahas, et je 

21 sur Dibon || . G'est moi qui ai construit l'espla- 
nade (?), les murs de Yearim (?) et les murs de 

22. Et c'est moi qui ai construit ses portes^ et c'est moi qui 

ai construit sa forteresse || Et c'est 

23. moi qui ai construit Bet-Moloch || Et c'est moi qui ai fait les 

deux 

24 Qir II Et il n'y avait pas de puits dans l'intérieur de 

Qir^ sur son esplanade. Et je dis à tout le peuple : Fasse 

25. chaque homme un puits dans sa maison || G'est moi qui ai of- 
fert l'holocauste , sur l'esplanade (?) dans 

26 Israël. || G'est moi qui ai construit Aroêr (?), et c'est moi qui 

ai fait la route de l'Arnon. 

27. G'est moi qui ai construit Bet-Bamoth, qui était détruite (?) || 
G'est moi qui ai construit Bosor, qui 

28 Dibon, des chefs militaires (Itt^Qn), pour que tout Dibon 

fût soumis II Et moi j'ai 

29 avec les villes que j'ai ajoutées à la terre || Et c'est moi 

qui ai construit. . . . 

30 Bet-Diblathaïm || Et Bet Baal-Meon , et 

j'ai érigé là le 

31 la terre || El Horonaïm , où ré- 
sida 

32 Ghamos me dit : Gombats à Horonaïm || Et 

je.. 

33 Ghamos. sur 

34 • 



— 8 — 

Il me reste maintenant à justifier cet essai de traduction et à faire 
rapidement ressortir les faits nouveaux fournis à la science par la 
stèle de Dhibân. 

Ce. Glermont-Ganneau. 



Ces pages étaient suivies d'une dissertation philologique et historique, dans la- 
quelle M. Ganneau justifiait ses traductions et déterminait la date du monument. 
Interrompu par le départ du courrier dans la transcription de ce travail, l'auteur 
n'a pu m'en envoyer que le commencement, comprenant le commentaire des dix 
premières lignes; j'aurais pu attendre, pour livrer le tout à la publicité, que 
j'eusse reçu le complément de la dissertation; mais je ne pus me résoudre à une 
aussi longue attente, et, en faisant imprimer cetravail, môme incomplet, je crois 
avoir mieux servi les intérêts de la science et ceux de M. Ganneau (i). J'assure 
ainsi à notre jeune et savant compatriote la priorité de sia découverte, et je mets 
sans retard à là disposition du public éclairé un document du plus haut intérêt. 
J'ose dire qu'il n'existe pas, dans le domaine des antiquités hébraïques, un seul 
document qui puisse lui être comparé. C'est le seul monument biblique authen- 
tique et original qui ait été trouvé jusqu'à présent. On pourrait presque dire de 
notre texte que c'est une page originale de la Bible. En efTet, suivant M. Ganneau, 
le roi Mesa, auteur de là stèle de Dhiban, n'est autre que le roi de Moab, dont la 
Bible a raconté les luttes sanglantes, et qui était contemporain des rois d'Israël 
Acbab, Ocbozias et Joram. Je partage entièrement cette opinion; je crois même 
que Ton peut, à l'aide des documents bibliques, déterminer l'année dans laquelle 
notre inscription a été gravée; sans vouloir anticiper sur le travail de M. Ganneau, 
ni préjuger ses conclusions que j'ignore, je dirai en quelques lignes comment il 
me parait possible de fixer cette date. Elle ajoute une trop grande valeur à la dé- 
couverte pour ne pas la joindre à ce premier essai. 

La comparaison des textes bibliques (1 Y /fo^r., letlll; II Par., XX) et des passages 
de Josèpbe (Ant. Jnd.^ IX, 2 et 3), relatifs au roi Mesa, fournit une histoire dont 
voici les traits saillants : Moab était tributaire d'Israël. Après la mort d'Achab et 
sous le règne très-court du faible Ochosias, Mesa résolut de secouer le joug. Il se 
révolta d'abord contre son suzerain immédiat, le roi d'Israël, et lui refusa le tribut 
annuel de deux cent mille moutons et agneaux. Puis il se tourna contre le roi de 

(t) Aussitôt complet, ce travail sera publié dans un recueil spécial. 



i 



— 9 — 

Juda, Josaphat, et, entraînant avec Ini des Ammonites et des Édomites, il attaqua 
ses États par le sud; il poussa jusqu'à Engaddi, où la division se mit dans les 
rangs de ses troupes ; les alliés se prirent de querelle et s'entr'égorgèrent sous les 
yeux de l'armée de Josapliat. L'année suivante, Joram, étant monté sur le trône 
d'Israël, voulut reprendre l'offensive; il fit alliance avec Josaphat, avec le roi 
d'Ëdom, et les trois rois, contournant la mer Morte par le sud, vinrent attaquer 
Mesa au cœur de ses États» Refoulé de partout, le roi de Moab s'enferma dans sa 
capitale Qir-Hareset; serré de. près, il essaya en vain une sortie à la tète de sept 
cents de ses plus braves soldats; enfin, pour fléchir la colère de son Dieu sangui- 
naire, il immola son fils atné sur le rempart, et l'offrit en holocauste à Chamos. 
Cet affreux spectacle remplit d'horreur et de pitié les rois alliés, qui levèrent le 
siège et quittèrent le pays après l'avoir dévasté. 

La seule période de cette tragique histoire dans laquelle puisse se placer l'heu- 
reuse campagne mentionnée par la stèle de Dhibân, me parait être la première 
révolte de Mesa. Dans les passages déchiffrés par M. Ganneau, le roi de Moab n'a 
qu'un seul adversaire, le roi d'IsraSl, Ochozias sans doute; les faits de guerre et 
de conquête sont concentrés dans un seul pays, le territoire situé au nord de 
l'Arnon^ ancienne dépendance de Moab, occupée alors par la tribu de Huben. Il 
me parait probable que Mesa, non content de refuser le tribut, aura envahi la 
province isolée et mal défendue qui était à sa proximité. Vainqueur à Yahas, à 
Dibôn, il fit élever la stèle comme un monument àe sa victoire, puis, enhardi par 
ses succès, il aura entrepris contre le roi de Juda la campagne qui devait avoir un 
si lugubre dénoûment. 

Si nos conjectures sont fondées, la stèle aura donc été gravée pendant la deuxième 
année du règne d'Ochozias, roi d*lsra6l, c'est*à-dire, suivant la chronologie géné- 
ralement adoptée, l'an 896 avant l'ère chrétienne. 

On conçoit donc l'immense intérêt historique, archéologique et paléographique 
qui s'attache à la découverte de ce monument; je me contente de le signaler, 
pour faire ressortir en même temps l'importance du service rendu à la science 
par M. Ganneau. On me permettra seulement, au seul point de vue de la paléo- 
graphie, de faire remarquer que la stèle de Dhibân est écrite à l'aide de cet al- 
phabet phénicien archaïque que j.'ai soutenu avoir été, avant le septième siècle, 
commun à tous les peuples sémitiques, les Phéniciens, les Hébreux et leurs congé- 
nères. Cette opinion, basée sur des inductions, sur l'étude de pierres gravées dont 
la date ne pouvait être déterminée d'une manière absolue^ a été très-vivement 
combattue; elle reçoit aujourd'hui, d'un monument original et incontestable, une 
éclatante confirmation. Nous avons enfin sous les yeux un exemplaire authentique 
de l'alphabet hébraïque du neuvième, on peut même dire du dixième siècle; de 
ces caractères archaïques, dp^ala oroi/sta, d'Origène et de saint Jérdme, à l'aide 
desquels étaient écrits les plus anciens manuscrits de la Bible. 



— 10 — 

Le monument du roi Mesa nous fournira bien d'autres confirmations plus im- 
portantes au sujet de l'exactitude historique et géographique de nos livres saints, 
de la langue et de la philologie. Pendant longtemps encore on discutera sur la 
pierre de Dhib&n; il me suffit aujourd'hui d'avoir contribuée la faire connaître ra- 
pidement; associé, pendant mon dernier séjour à Jérusalem, aux péripéties de ce 
petit roman archéologique, ayant constaté les efforts de M. Ganneau, les difficultés 
de déchiffrement et autres qu'il a dû vaincre, j'ai tenu à lui apporter ce concours 
et ce témoignage. Le monde savant s'associera aux regrets qu'inspire la destruc* 
tion de la stèle de Mesa, et en môme temps aux félicitations que nous adressons 
au jeune savant, sans lequel cet inestimable document eût été à jamais perdu. 

M. DE VOGUÉ. 

Paris, S février U70. 



Ports. — Iii:|tii:iifnt; AiIolph« loiioé, rue de:» SaiiiLfPt'ies, 11) 



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POUR. L'INTELLIGENCE DES CAMPAGNES DE 



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SHELEPH 



82S 



SHEMITIC LANGUAGES 



spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh 
to his friend.' The 'Lord' hère must unequivo- 
callv be applîed to the symbol of the Lord, or the 
jkJattah^ which was the true oisan of communica- 
tion with the people. It would be easy to carry ont 
thb Une of invest^tion to still fiurther results ; but 
the considérations which hâve been offered will 
fttffice to indicate the gênerai bearings of this in- 
teresting subject 

8ee Lowxnan, On the Shekmah; Taylor*s Ld- 
Urs of Ben Mordecai; Skinner's Dissertation on 
ihe Shekinah ; Watt's Clory of Christ; Upham, 
On the Logos ; Bush's Notes on Exodus; Tenison, 
OnIdoUUry; Fleming's Christology,—Q, B. 

SHELEPH (l|^; ZaX^ ; Alex. ZoX^; 

SaUph)^ the second son of Joktan, and founder of 
one of the mxnor tiibes of eastera Arabia. After 
Ihe genealogical records in Gen. z. 26, and i 
Chron. L 20^ there is no mention of this tribe in 
Scripture. The whole fiunily of the Toktanites, or 
as tfaev are called by Arab writers Béni Kahtân« 
settled insouth-eastem Arabia Qoktan ; ArabiaJp 

Ptolemv, in ennmerating the Arab tribes in thie 
biterior of Arabia, mentions the Saîapenœ (SaXan)- 
Mc), which appears to be the gentile form of 
Siieph (ZaX^^), the Greek représentative of the 
Semitic Shdeph (PtoL vi 7). Bochart was the 
fint to suggest this identity (Operet^ î* 99) ; an<l 
his opinion is fuHy corroborated bv the researches 
of Niebuhr and other Oriental scholars since his 
tfa&e. Niebuhr fonnd in the province of Yemen 
an extensive district called Solfie (or Saiaffyeh)^ 
which dottbtless retains the name of theprimeval 
tribe {Description de VArabie^ p. 214). llie name 
«raears to &ve been given to the région by the 
tnbe oiBeni Sulaf mentioned by Arab htstorians 
M forming a subdivision of the Béni Kaht&n. 

Forster endeavours to identify the Béni Saleph 
Jirith the Meteyr tribe, whose cluef résidence is in 
JKasym, in the province of Nejd (Geog, of Arabia^ 
i 109 ; Burckhardt, Notes on the Bédouins^ p. 2^3). 
For this, however, there appears to be no suffiaent 
jevidenoe. — J. L. P. 

SHELOMITH (n^\^), the name of scveral 

peisons maie (i Chron. xxiii. 18 ; xxiii. 9 ; xxvi. 
25 ; Ez^ viiL 10) and female (Lev. xxiv. 11 ; 
4 Chron. iîi. 19). 

SHEM (DtS^, name ; Sept. 2ij/a), one of the 

three sons of Noah (Gen. v. 32), from whom 
descended the nations enumerated in Gen. x. 
22, sea.^ and who was the progenitor of that great 
brancn of the Noachic family (called from him 
Shemitic or Semitic) to which the Hebrews belong. 
The name of Shem is placed first wherever the 
sons of Noah are mentioned together : whence he 
would seem to hâve been the eldest brother. But 
against this conclusion is brought the text Gen. x. 
SI, which according to the Authorised, and manv 
other versions, has ' Shem the brother of Japheth 
the elder ;' whence it has been oonceived very gene- 
ndly that Japheth was really the eldest, and that 
Shem is put first by way of excellency, seeing thnt 
from him the holy line descended. But this con- 
diision is not buut upon a critical knowledge of 

4he Hebrew, which would show that TH^in, ' the 

èider,* must in this text be referred not to Japheth 

{but to Shem, so that ît should be read * Shem .... 

y t^ dder brother of Japheth.* The cnrrent verrion of 



the text is sanctioned only b^ the Septuagint among 
the ancient versions, and it is there supposed by 
some to be corrupt. The Samaritan, Syriac, 
Arabie, aod Vulgate, adopt the other interpréta- 
tion, which indeed is the onlv one that the analogy 
of the Hebrew language wiU achnit The whde 
Bible offers no other instance of such a construction 

as that b^ which W\V\ Dfi^ ^HK becomes 'the 
brother of Japhet the elder,' which indeed would 
be an awkward phrase in any language. The ob- 
ject of the sacred writer is to mark the seniority 
and conséquent superiority of Shem. He had 
already told us (Gen. ix. 24) that Ham was, if not 
the youngest, at least a younger son of Noah, and 
he is now careiiil to acquaint us that Shem, the 
stem of the Hebrews, was older than Japheth (see 
Baumgarten, Theolog. Commentar zum Alten Test,; 
Geddes, Critical Remarks : respecting the posterity 
of Shem, see Nations, Dispersion of).— Jf. K. 

SHEMAIAH (n^^, whom Jehovah hears ; 

Sept. Za^of). I. A prophet of the time of Reho* 
boam who was commtssioned to enjoin ^t 
monarch to forego his design of reducing the ten 
tribes to obédience (i Kings xii. 22-24). ^n > 
Chron. xil 15, this Shemaïah is stated to hâve 
written the Chronides of the reign in which he 
flourished. 

2. A person who, without authori^, assumed 
the fimctions of a prophet among the Isradites in 
exile. He was so much annoyed by the prophedci 
which Jeremiah sent to Babylon, the tendency of 
which was contrary to his own, that he wrole to 
Jérusalem, denouncing the prophet as an impostor, 
and urging the authorities to enforce his silence. 
In retum he recdved new prophedes, announcing 
that he should never benold that dose of the 
bondage which he fancied to be at hand, and that 
none of his race should witness the re-establishment 
of the nation (Jer. xxix. 24-32).^. K. [Many 
others of the same name are mentioned, but none 
requiring spécial notice]. 

SHEMARIM. [WiNB.] 

SHEM'EBER (^njjttjr, tofty fUght ; Sept 

2vfu)j86/)), king of Zeboim, one of the 6ve ' dties 
of the plain' (Gen. xiv. 2). 

SHEMEN. [Cit.] 

SHEMER (iDe^, lees; Sept. 2«m^), theowner 

V V 

of the hill of Samaria, which derived its name 
from him. Omri bought the hill for two talents of 
silver, and built thereon the dty, also called Sa- 
maria, which he made the capital of his kingdom 
(i Kings xvL 24) [see Samaria]. As the Isrulites 
were prevented by the law (Lev. xxv. 23) from 
thus afienating their inheritances, and as his name 
occurs without the usual genealogical marks, it is 
more than probable that Shemer was descended 
from those Canaanites whom the Hebrews had not 
dispossessed of their lands. 

SHEMINITH. [PsALMS.] 

SHEMITIC, or rather gK MITlC LAN. 
glTAflgS-* a term commonly àpplied to a certain 
number of cognate idioms supposed to hâve been 



(/."-/.; 



* Having devoted spécial artides to the dif- 
férent branches of the Shemitic Laneua^es, it is 
our intention hère to give only the briefest pos- 



. SHEMITIC LANGUAGES 



824 



SHEMITIC LANGUAGES 



spoken by the Shemites — L e. the descendants of 
Shem. Considering, however, that the Canaan* 
ites and the Phœnidans, the Cusbites and a nnm- 
ber of Arabie tribes, ail derived in the genea- 
logical list of Genesis z. from Cham, did speak 
•Shemitic,' while Elam and Lud derived from 
Shem did net, as far as our présent information 
goes (Ashurhas nowthe benefit of astron^doubt) : — 
tluit designatron, fixst advocated by Eicnhom and 
SchlÔzer, must be pronoanced a complète misno- 
mer» aithough it bas kept its ground up to this 
moment for sheer want of a précise and accurate 
term. It has supplanted that other one, used from 
the ChuFch Fathers downward, of ' Oriental Lan- 
guages;* a dénomination perfectly satisfactory to 
me 'Unguistic consciousness * of générations that 
viewed Hebrew as the mother of ail langoages, and 
whose acquaintance with Eastem idioms was limited 
to this and an imperfect idea of Phœnico-Punic, 
'Chaldee* — Jewish or Christian — and Arabie 
But when, towards the end of the last centnxy, 
the gigantic discoveries in the realm of Eastem 
phîldogv suddenly made thèse idioms shrink into 
the small proportions of a &mily of dialects con- 
fined for a long period to a narrow corner of the 
south-west of Asia ; that most comprehensive name 
of Oriental Languages had, notwithstanding single 
pffotests, to be put aside for ever. Leibnitz's sug- 
gestion of 'Arabie' being too narrow for the whoîe 
stock, ' Syro- Arabie,' formed in soiàlogy to * Indo- 
European,* was proposed, but that too has not 
been found generally expressive enough, apart from 
the objection of its bemg apt to m erroneously 
understood in a linguisti^ rather than in a geo- 
gnphical sensé. Thus, in default of a better name, 
the above will probabljr be retained for some time 
to oome, with the distinct understanding of its 
being a false and merely conventional expression. 

Comparative philology, although, compared with 
wbat we now understand by this term, a very em- 
bryonic one, exerdsed itself at an early period, 
and in a vague manner, in thèse idioms. The re- 
semblance between them is indeed so striking at 
iîrst sight — ^its roots being as nearly identicu as 
can be — that it could hardly hâve been otherwise. 
It is the différence between them rather than the 
similarity that requires a doser scrutiny in order to 
be discovered at alL As it is, they do not vaty 
amonç themselves to the extent even of the dia- 
lects m any single group of the Indo-European 
languages. Yet, as we shall furthar show, the 
idea still entertained by not a few scholars — viz. 
of one of the Shemitic languages standing in the 
relation of matemity to another — must now be 
utterly discarded, and ail that can be granted 
, to the spéculative 'Science of Language is the 
possibility of some kind of extinct prototype, out 
of which they might bave individuatly developed. 
Exactly as there is an * Idea ' (in the Piatonic sensé) 
of a primseval mother of ail the Indo-European 
longues floating before the minds of our modem 
investigalors. 

Meanwhile, the existence of three dis^ct * She- 
mitic * dialects of independent existence, each bear- 
ing a clearly-marked individuality of its own in 
historical times, has been established beyond ail 

sible risumé ; and in taking a gênerai and compre- 
hensive view of the questions connected with this 
su^ect, we présuppose an acquaintance wfth its 
détails. 



doubt ; and, as usual, différent names and divisions 

bave been proposed for them. The most widdy 

adopted and the most rational ones are those that 

are taken from the abodes of the différent tribes 

who first spoke them. Thus we bave : a, The 

northem or north-eastem branch — Le. that of the 

whole country between the Meditenanean and the 

Tigris, bordered by the Taurus in the north ; by 

Fhœnida, the land of Israël, and Arabia, in the 

south ; and embracii^ Syria, Mesopotamia (with 

its différent 'Arams*), and Babylonia. This is 

called the ' Aramaic' branch. à, The idiom spoken 

by the inhabitants of Palestine : ' Hebraic.* And 

c, That of the south or the peninsula of Arabia 

— * Arabie;' the idiom confined to this part ap 

to the time of Mohammed. Another récent divi* 

sion is the so-called historical, framed in aoconl- 

ance with the prépondérance of thèse spécial 

branches at différent periods. By thb the Hebraic 

would assume the fiist place, extending from the 

earliest times of our knowledge of it down to tht 

6th centuiy B. c, when the Aramaic b^ins to 

take the lead, and the field of Hebrew and PhcB- 

ntcian — ^the chief représentatives of Hebraic — ^be* 

comes more and more restricted. The Aramaic agaia 

would be followed by the Arabie period, dranff 

from the time of Mohammed, when the Islam and 

its conquests spread the lanéiuage of the Kom, 

not memy over the whole Shemitic territoiy, but 

over a vast portion of the inhabited globe. But 

this last division is so arbitrary, not to say làl- 

ladous — ^for there is every reason to suppose diat 

'Aramaic' fiourished vigorously in its own sphère 

during; if not before the whole Hebraic period, and^ 

again that ' Hebraic' ^as Phœnician) kept its ground 

simultaneously with tbe later 'Aramaic' period — 

that its own authors had to hedge it in with many 

and varie^ted restrictions. So that it is, in frict, 

reduoed sunply to a 'subjective' notion or m^od, 

not frirther to be considered. But we further pro^ 

test ail the more strongly against it, as it might 

easily lead to the belief ti^ the one idiom graduaily 

merged into the other — Hebrew into Aramaic». 

Aramaic into Arabie, much as Latin did into the 

Fo^r^— which would be utterly contrary to fibCt. 

The vulgar Arabie spoken now in Palestine no more 

developed out of Aramaic, than the En^sh spoken 

in Ireland developed out of Cdtic or 'Fenian.' 

Sinking for a moment the distinctions between 
thèse différent Shemitic idioms, and viewing them 
as one compact Unity, more especially in compari« 
son with that other most important fanuly, the Indo- 
European languages, we are stmck, as were the 
Chuich Fathers and the mediaeval grammariàns, 
with more signs of primseval affinity than their 
mère identity of word-roots. And indeed, if this 
had constituted our sole proof and criterion, the 
drde of relationship woula bave had to be widened 
to an astonishingly large extent. One of the 
chief and indîsputable characteristics of Shemitic 
bas, since the days of Chajug, been hdd to be 
their triliteralness. That is, that eveiy word 
consists, in the first instance, merely of three 
consonants, which form, so to say, the soid of 
the idea to be expressed by that word ; while 
the respective spécial modifications are produced 
by certain vowels or additional letters. Some of 
the latter hâve, in a few instances, reroained sta* 
donaiy, but even then they are always clearly dis- 
tin^;uishable from the root, as mère casual accès- 
sones. But thèse very addidonal and only casvally 



SHEMITIC LANGUAGES 



825 



SHEMinC LANGUAGES 



anncxed consonants hâve led investigation to doubt 
that time-hallowed axiom of triliteralnesSi So 
far, it has been said, from this being a prirnseval 
inborn attribute of thèse idioms, na^, a sign of their 
having been handed down (especially in the lie- 
btaic form) as nearly like their origixial prototype 
as can be : it is rather a sign of a very advanced 
stage of a development in which they ail partid- 
pated, and which renders them almost as unlike 
their primitive type as any foreign group of lan- 
guages. There must hâve been a time, it is con- 
tended, when not three, but two radicals with an 
intermediate vowel — a monosyllable in fact — formed 
the staple of some original * Shemitic * language. 
Ottt oftliis they may bave sprung simultaneously, 
by one of those linguistic révolutions conséquent 
upon sudden historical events — émigrations and 
the like. Not indeed in the sharply-outlined form 
in which we now find them, but predisposed to their 
development of linguistic individual pecnliarities : 
one and ail however bent upon the extension of theûr 
monosyllabic root into a trÛiteral — ^in a way that the 
consonant prefixed should express what nuances 2Xk 
advancingcivilisationfounditnecessarytodistinguish 
in every one of the scanty roots forming the common 
stock of the whole Shemitic family. Thèse bi- 
literals, to which the roots thus are traced back, are 
nearly ail of an onomatopoetical nature; that is, they 
are imitative sounds of a urimitive kind. As long as 
they were used, the nntold grammatical distinctions 
of an advanced human stage — flexions, catégories, 
constructions— could, if they existed at ail, only 
bave existed in an embryonic state. — ^The authors 
and defenders of this ingenious conjecture — the un- 
expected use of which we shall presently show — 
fail, however, to answer the question, when and 
how this most extraordinary step from two to three 
ktters could so suddenly and simultaneously hâve 
been introducrà as must needs be presupposed. 
Not one of the monosyllabic languages known to 
Ms has ever changed its roots in this extraordinary 
manner, and the adduced analogy of the quadri- 
literals having been formed from the triliterals is not 
to the point. 

Yet this analytical discovery of monosyllabic 
bases, if it does not assist us as much as was ex- 
pected in the solution of the many difficult pro- 
blems oiTered by the Shemitic idioms when com- 
pared among themselves ; was made to support a 
much more sweeping theory — viz. that of an original 
affinity, nay identity, between Shemitic and Aryan, 
at some most remote period. A ueriod, in fact, 
when Aryans and Shemites dwelt in tne same home- 
steads ; a period anterior to the final development of 
the roots of their — common — rudimentary language, 
and, of course, long anterior to grammars : and 
therefore also callra the anUgrammatical stage. 
And this theory has been advocated and warmly 
defended from Schlegel down to our day by some 
of the most eminently Aryan and Shemitic scholars. 
Nay, even the absurd extrême to which it has been 
carried by Delitzsch and Fiirst did not bring its 
original form into discrédit Thèse two scholars, 
to wit, do not stop at the affinity, but assume a 
downright relationship of parentage between the 
two groups. Their proofs and their spécimens of 
words, however, do not sufficiently support their 
hypothesis. For the most part arbitrary to an 
ipamense degree, and erroneous in their applica- 
tion, they résolve themselves either into acaaental 
fMBQarities or into such affinities as are easily 



explained by late importations (the existence of 
which has never been doubted) from one group 
into the other — caused by the constant contact 
between the two families in prehistorical as well 
as historical times. Quite apart from that other 
most unfortunate accident of their trying to prove 
their case by certain talmudical and Syriac words 
which bore an undeniable family-likene^ to certain 
Greek and Latin words of sinular meanings ; but 
which were really words taken from GrMk and 
Latin in late Roman times, and spelt in a slightly 
disguised Shemitic fashion. 

We cannot in this place further enlarge upon a 
point which trenches so nearly upon those obscure 
problems about the origin of language in gênerai, 
that prominently occupy the minds of sdentific 
inquirers in thèse days. Whatever be the final 
issue, if ever there be one, we cannot but simply 
State the fact that, grammatically, there cannot be 
a more radical différence than that which exists 
between the two groups, while lexically or etymo- 
logically a certain afTinity between them is perlectly 
incontestable even to the most critical and unpre* 
judiced eye. However différent the conclusions 
they draw, on thèse points even the most extrême 
schools agrée. But whether, as some hold, there 
was once a stage where there was no grammar at 
ail, or whether there was a kind of grammar which 
contained the two subsequentlv so widely varying 
forms of it in nuce ; or again whether the two races 
ever did inhabit the same soil at ail, and the pheno- 
menon of the lexical property common to both may 
be explained on the one hand by certain Unguistical 
laws that unchai^inç rule body and soûl of humanity 
and produce everywhere the same onomatopoetical 
sounds, the origin of which we may or mav not be 
able to trace in our présent stage, and on the other 
hand by a certain interchange of ideas and objects at 
différent periods of their existence : — ^we shall leave 
undiscussed in this place, content to bave shown the 
différent standpoints. The most reroarkable, and 
perhaps the least easily-accounted for phenomenon, 
is the striking similarity of the pronouns and nu- 
merals, not only in Indo-Germanie and Shemitic, 
but even in Coptic, which for this and other rea- 
sons has indeed been held by some to be both 
lexicallv and grammatically the Chamite link be- 
ween tne two. With what small show of reason, 
however, we cannot stop to explain. 

Among thèse last-mentioned curious mutual 
interchangei that took place in what we may call 
— comparatively speaking — ^historical times, we find 
first of ail certain Egyptian words that bave early 
crept into llebrew, partly possibly before the so- 
ioum at Goshen. Thus we find ^HK, *T)fi(, npilX. 
n^Mt perhaps also nSJI» n3"in, and others, some of 
them still to be found in Coptic, and not explained 
by Shemitic etymology. On the other hand, cer- 
tain words, chiefly désignations of animais, are 
found in Coptic which are taken from Shemitic — 

^1 neO, ^K» ^Di etc. Next stand those verbal 
importations from India, brought home by the 

trading expéditions to * Ophir' — €,g, ÛvTIK» ^D» 
Tl^t CD"Df and the like — which are easily traceable 
to Sanscrit and its dialects. [And hère we would 
draw attention to die word p^ (Yavan), the She- 
mitic désignation for th e Greeks, which seems to 
be the Sanscrit «yvH'i Y«vajana = Lat juvenis— r 

ùe, a younger branch (of emigrants probably).] 
Straagely enough, while the Greek was enriched to 



SHEBirnC LANGUAGES 



826 



SHEMinC LANGUAGES 



an extiaordimunf estent hy the Shemitic traders, 
in proportion to the immense variety of artides 
dien imported into Greek ports ; the Greek idiom 
is generally supposed to hâve added nesEt to nothing 
to the Shemitic before the time of Alexander. 
Vegetable substances, precious stones, materials for 
garments, the garments themsdves, animais, musical 
instruments, weights, and last not least, the letters 
of the alphabet — ^all thèse, together with their na* 
tive names, were importai by Shemites (Phœni- 
eians) into the Greek territory and language, when 
they first emerged from their narrow West-Asiatic 
homes and opened up a trade with the whole world. 
The use of many of thèse words in the fragments 
of the most ancient Greek literature that bas sur- 
vived shows them to bave been at the earliest period 
already part and parcel of that idiom to such an 
estent that even their origin had been completely for- 
gotten, cf. 2\tH, H^ininrùt ; D(73« pdXxrafiop ; }^3, 

fiùffffot ; n^37, Xifiopot ; *)^fiD, cdw^ipot ; T)S)ltQ, 
Xtréw ; yo^f «i^pa, etc. Whether, however, many 
of the hitherto unexplained Shemitic words may 
or may not be Greek, and date from exactly the 
same period, and their importation be owing to the 
same causes, we cannot hère discuss. 

And leaving altogetherî.the ever-shifting quick- 
sands of this lexical affinity between the two fainiUes, 
which, as we said, cannot but be accepted in the 
main as an established fact, we corne to the more safe 
and easy ground of their grammatical différence. 
This may be summed np briefly in the above-men- 
tioned présent trilitenLl nature of the Shemitic roots ; 
and in the peculiarity of the three consonants that 
conttitute tnem representing the idea, and the ever- 
changing vowels added to them its ever-changing 
aspects, varieties, and modifications. The con- 
tenants of the Shemitic root fonn, in this wise, 
mithout the accessory Towels, an unprononnceable 
word, while the Indo-Geimanic root or word is 
complète and self-sufficient. Among further most 
vital différences between the two, we may point to 
the totidhr différent way of the dedensions of their 
ttonns (cf. the Shemitic status constructus and em- 
phaticus), the numerous verbal modes utterly un- 
known to the Aryan conjugation, the absence of a 
definite tense in Shemitic, the inability of the latter 
of forming compound nouns or new nuances of verbs 

3r prépositions, and the like. AU of which crip- 
es the action of the Shemitic idioms to no small 
estent, while the unUmited power of forming words 
upon words at the spur df the moment, and the 
marvellous flexibility of the verb and theiprecision 
of its tenses, endow the Aryan with unequalled 
wéalth, power, and degance. 

This most fittingly leads us to the question of 
the respective 'âges' of thèse two prominent &• 
milies of languages. Not that to the one or the 
other is to be assigned a longer, more andent term 
of esbtence— for this notion of the direct parentage 
is, as we said, confined to hyp^one unscientific cen- 
turies, and to the Dditzsch-Fiirst school : if there 
be one. But it may fairly be asked — and this is 
bj no means a barren spéculation — which may hâve 
retained its andent stamp with greater fidelity, 
and which thus reflects b^ the sluipe of its origi- 
nal T And there can be but one answer. The more 
simple, child-lâce, primitive of the two is, without 
any doubtj the Shemitic. Abstraction and meta- 
physics, philosophy and spéculation, as we find 
them in tne Aryan, are not easily expressed in an 



idiom bereft of ail real syntactic structure ; beteft 
further of that infinité variety of little words, par- 
tides, conjunctions, ausiliary verbs, etc., which, 
ready for any emergency, like so many small living 
links, imperoeptibly bind word to word, phrase to 
phrase, and period to period : which indeed are the 
ver^ life and soûl of what is called Construction. 
This want of exactness and précision, moreover, 
naturally inhérent in idioms represented by words 
of dumb sounds, whose meaning must be deter- 
mined accoxding to circumstances by a certain 
limited number of shifting vowds, whose conju- 
gâtions, though varied and flesible to an estra- 
ordinary degree, yet lack a proper distinction 
between the past and the future (cf. the Hebrew 
'perfect' and 'aorist,' which lend themsdves to 
almost an^ tense between past and future). There 
certainly is— who can doubt it? — notwithstanding 
ail thèse shortcomings, a strength, a boldness, a pic- 
turesqueness, a delicacy of fi^nç and espresâoh 
about thèse Shemitic idioms wfaich marks them, 
one and ail, as the property of a poetically, not to 
saj * prophetically' inspùed race. But compare 
with this the suppleness of Aryan lanenaees and 
that boundless supplv of aids tluit enaUe 3iem to 
produoe the most teiling combinations at the 'spnr 
of the moment ; thdr exquisitdy consummate and 
refined mtactiod devdopment, that can change^ 
and shift, and alter the position of word, and 
phrase, and sentence, and period, to almost any 
place, so as to give force to any part of thev 
speech. With sQl thèse, and a thousand other 
faculties and capabilities, they micht certainly mt 
first sight ahnost lead one to the bdief that they 
must hâve grown upon another stodc — ^^e Shemitic 
— and out^wn it But discarding this unsdentific 
notion, it cannot be denied that they are the 
' younger' of the two. The stage of Realinn, as 
represented by the former, must naturally hâve 
preceded that of Idealism, of which the Aryan 
alone is the proper type and expression. The 
Shemitic use of tne materialistic, * sensual,' term 
for phvsiol(^cal and psychological phenomena must 
be olaer than the formation and common usage of 
the Arvan abstract term. The name for the outwaid 
tangible impression which must hâve everywhese 
been identical originally with that of the sensation 
or idea coimectâ with it, bas remained iden- 
tical in the Shemitic from its earliest stage to its 
final devdopment It is, in fact, this unity of idea 
and espression, which, above ail other syroptoms, 
forces us irresistibly to place the Shemitic into the 
first rank as re^rds 'anti^uity,* such as we es* 
plained it ; that is, of its having retained the dosest 
tikeness to some original form of human speedi 
that preceded both Sie other family of lai^[uage 
and itselC 

The signs diaracteristic of the common Shemitic 
stock hâve been touched upon already in Uie foré- 
going paragraphs, as far as they could be broug^t to 
bear upon the questions under considération. To 
thèse we may nôw add the peculiarity of there 
being but two genders in Shemitic, and that thèse 
are also distinguished in the second and third 
person of the verb; that, further, the genitive is 
formed by the juxtaposition merdy of the two 
respective nouns, slightly changed in their vocalisa- 
tion, whilè prépositions prindpally form the other 
cases, and suffises indicate tne oblique cases of 
pronouns. 

We shall now, as summarily as possible, speak 



SHEMITIC LANGUAGES 



827 



SHEMITIC LANGUAGES 



of the Shemitic idioms in theîr spécial branches, 
and ende&vour to point out as we proceed whatever 
b best fit to throw a light on the many questions 
respecling their comparative âge, development, 
and history, referring always for fuller détails and 
points beyond our présent task to the several 
articles dcvoted to them individually in the course 
of tkis wotic The first and to the Biblical stu- 
dent most important of thèse idioms, is the middle- 
Shemitic, Hebraic, or Hebrew, the language of the 
Hebrew people during the time of their independ- 
ence in Canaan. The term Hebrew (^3^) itself 
has been derived by some from Eber, the father of 
Peleg and Joktan ; by others from the appellative 
■)3y, scil. "ïfl^n — I. e, the other side of the river 
Euphrates, whence the Abrahamites immigrated 
ÎDtô Canaan (LXX. 6 inpénnft), This double dé- 
rivation is already mentioned in Theodoretus ; other 

dérivations are firom j^, to explaih, etc. No.less 

hâve Ibermns, Arabians, and other words of similar 
Sound beeh pressed into the service. The canonical 
books of the O. T. do not ose that term to designate 
the language, which they call variousl^ {^33 n&C^, 
langoage of Canaan, in contradistînction to Egyp- 
tian; and DHin^ Jewish, in contradistînction to 
Aramaic (or Ashdodian). It first occurs in Eccle- 
aasticus and Josephus, as ippaCrrl^ yXQrra rCàp 
*^palwp. In the N. T., éppoûùrrl, iftpaXt ««tXerrot, 
ineans Aramaean, in contradistînction to Greek. 
Fhilo, ignorant of the language, calls it yKtaaffè» 
XaXdatk^p. When Aramaic had, after the retum 
from the captivity, become the popular tongne, 
and Hebrew was chiefly confined to temple, syna- 
gogue and academy, it recdved the name IpXP 

(npn, holy language, or, more accurately, JV2 |B9 
WirX\p, language of the sanctuary. One of the 
many vexed and barren questions connêcted with 
it is that regarding its original soil — ^that is, whethër 
Abraham imported it as his own native tongue into 
Canaan, or whether, findin^ it there, he and his 
descendants merely adoptra it. Those who held 
or hold Hebrew to be, if not the oldest of ail 
languages, the oldest at least of the Shemitic 
Idioms, natuïally décide for the former view, since 
it could not but hâve remained the traditîonal in- 
héritage of the chqsen race. The defenders of 
tlie latter view, on the other hand, point to the 
drcumstance that Abraham came from Mesopo- 
tamia, where Aramaic was the common idiom used 
— f.^, by Laban, the grandnephew of Abraham 
(Gen. xxxi. 47), as a translation of Jacob's Hebrew ; 
Rirther, to its dénomination * language of Canaan,' 
the geographical position of wnich country, be- 
tween the Aramseans and the Arabs, would seem 
exactly to correspond to the linguistical position of 
their respective longues. Again, the close resem- 
bkince of die Phœnician to the Hebrew, and certain 

proper names of Canaan, such as JXTÎ ^STDi *pD^3K> 
ànd the like, are brought forward in support 
of this second theory. Yet there is a third— viz. 
that the idiom itself may first hâve been fully de- 
veloped by the Abrahamides in Canaan, who may 
hâve neither brought it nor found it there, but from 
a fusion of their own original ' Aramaic' and the 
Canaanitish language spoken in their new homes 
produced it and developed it 

Intimately connêcted with this question is the 
more geneial one as to the âge ot thb language 



itself. That it was the aboriginal tongue from 
which ail others hâve been derived is, as we hinted 
before, an opinion not in accordance with the uncon- 
tested results of modem philology. The argument 
of the etymology of certain proper names in the 
early documents of Genesis (D^M from SID^TK, earth ; 
rnn from ^n, life, etc.), was already disposed of 
by Grotius, who held that Moses may hâve trans- 
lated them simply into Hebrew according to the 
genius of this language, and by Clericus, who 
pointed out how thèse names were chiefly appella- 
tive names, to a great extent given affer the events 
had taken place to which thej' point Yet it was 
further argued, many names (firom Kain to Le- 
mech principally) allow of no etymology whatso- 
ever, therefore this must be the original tongue 
of ail men. Such most primitive arguments, 
however, disposed of, we are still left in the ut- 
most uncertainty : and, in the absence of docu- 
ments and testimonies, we must resign ourselves 
to give up ail hopes of ever arriving at more 
than vague théories on the subject. Much more 
to the purpose, however, is the attempt to find 
out the rdative position of Hebrew among its 
sister idioms. The oldest Shemitic documents thaï 
hâve survived are in Hebrew, and in them we find 
this language and its structure fiiUy developed ; so 
fully indeed, that what progress we do perceive in 
it is a downward progress : the b^nning of decay. 
It further bears so cUstinctive a diaracter of high 
antiquity, originality^ simplicity, and purih^*— roe 
etymology of its grammaticdfoims b stiÛ at times so 
cleariy visible in it and it alone, while it has disap- 
peared in the other dialects — that if not the oldest 
absolutdy, it b ceitamly the one Shemitic tongue 
which seems to come nearest to the one primitive 
type of the Shemitic idioms now generally assumed. 
With regajrd to its lexical and grammatical position, 
it occupies that mean between the Aramaic as the 
poorest, and the Arabie as the richest. Its prin- 
cipal wealth and strength, however, lies in its re- 
ligions and ethical dément Whatever may hâve 
been lost of its documents and the words whidi 
they contained, that which remains b sufficient to 
show the peculiar tendency and character of its 
vocabulary. There are, e.g.^ 14 différent terms 
for ' ask, inquire,' 24 for ' keep the Law,' 9 for 
* trust in God,' etc. Of foreign éléments we chiefly 
discover those original terms for foreign objects, 
persons, or dignities, introduced from the Egyptian 
idiom during the Mosaic period, and from the As- 
syrian, Babylonian, Persian, etc., at later times. 
Few traces are found of dialectical différences — al-' 
though there are some of a vulgar idiom (|t3» MD, 
Manna, etc.) — while on the other hand the différ- 
ence between prosaic and poetical diction b most 
striking. Fuller forms in flexions, in suffixes, pecu- 
liar formations of nouns, the use of grand epithets^ 
and above ail, rare words (mostly Aramaic), are the 
distinguishing characteristic of its poetry. It loves 
to draw for peculiarity of expression both upon 
the ancient and partly obsolète stock of words, and 
upon the language of the common people : no less 
than upon dialects of idiomatic afiînltv. Olher 
poetical peculiarities are the omission of the relative 
or the use of the démonstrative in its stead, the 
omission of the article, and the like. 

There is, however insignificànt the changes un- 
deigone by the Hebi^w andthe Shemitic laingtiages 
in gênerai be, as compared with those of Indo- 
Germanie — and the reasons for thb stability of the 



SHEMltlC LANGUAGES 



828 



SHEMITIC LANGUAGES 



former are founded in their whole character and 
history— yet a certain change noticeable in the 
Hebrew, as prescrved in the O. T. Whether this 
be due to the difTerence of the âges in wbich the 
several books were written, or to peculiarities of 
the respective writers, as some hold, seems hardly 
to allow of a doubt* Whatever may be owing to 
provincialism, or individuality, or even to the more 
solemn and therefore différent style of poetry — and 
we cannot always distinguish thèse things as dearly 
as we could wish — enough remains to show a gra- 
duai and important différence between the earlier 
and the later stages of the language in the earlier 
and later books of the O. T. Certain oonespond- 
ing periods — two, three, or more — hâve accoraingly 
been assumed. Thus some distinguish between 
the time before and that after the exile; others 
between Mosaic, Davidic, Solomonic periods, and 
the period aâer the exile. Yet thèse divisions are 
of a most precarious nature. It is quite true that 
certain words and forms which occur in the Penta- 
teuch do not occur again until veiy late. That 
agaip, terms used at first in prose occur afterwards 
only in poetry, or hâve completely changed their 
forms. and meanings. Furlher it is i^doubtedly 
tnie that during the Davidian time, and that of his 
ton, the influence of the schools founded by Samuel, 
and the influence of two such eminent kings and 
their brilliant litenuy achievement, together with 
the flourishing condition of the countiy itself, could 
not but make itself felt also in a generally higher 
and finer cultivation of style,^iction, and language, 
throughout the writings of the period. It must aUo 
be allowed that the Assyrian invasion, and ail its 
oooseq\ienoes — ^principally the spread of Aramsean 
ïn Palestine— corrupted the punty of the language, 
blunted its sensé of grammatical niceties, and 
caused those who most desperately clung to the 
ancient style to introduce, mstead of the living 
éléments of former days, dead archaisms. But we 
doubt whether anv genuine division can be insti- 
tuted, as long at least as the now prevailing un- 
certainty as to the date of certain parts of the Scrip- 
ture wîil last — and we fear it will not soon be 
removed. 

Vague though our notions about the time when 
Hebrew was nrst spoken be, we hâve the dearest 
dates as to the time of its disappearance as a liv- 
ing language. When at the retum from the exile 
ail the ancient institutions were restored, it was 
found that the people no longer understood their 
own Sxriptures in their vemacular, and a transla- 
tion into Aramaic (out of which sprang the Tar- 
gums) had to be added, ' so that they might under- 
stand them.' It soon became, as we said, the lan- 
guage of the schools and of public worship almost 
exdusively, somewhat Hke the Latin in the Middle 
Ages. 

Closely allied to the Hebrew, as aiready observed 
by Aueustine, Jérôme, and others, is the Phoenician, 
which m our own days, with the increasing number 
of monuments brought to light, has risen to high 
importance. No language of antiquit^ perhaps 
was so widely spread. The whole ancient worid 
almost being the vantage-ground of Phœnician en- 
terprise, the language was naturally disseminated 
over the widest possible space, and the natural con- 
seouence was, that graaually yielding to foreign 
influence it did not keep up its original purity, 
and became in proportion more and more diver- 
gent from the Hebrew. Charicteristic to it axe 



certain inflexions it retained, which were long ob* 
solete in Hebrew, no less than certain words and 
phrases, considered archaic in Hebrew, but of 
common occurrence in Phœnician. Again, there 
is a tendency towards a darkeniog, so to say, oi 
vowels — f.ff. the Hebrew a becomes occasion- 
ally Of the e becomes d ovy, the i changes into^ or 
», the o into i/, and the like. The gutturals are 
at times interchanged, consonants are assimilated 
or omitted, et& A grammar of this idiom has 
not been attempted yet, nor does the knowled^ 
of the inflexions which we possess ofiêr suffident 
material for a systematic investigation at this pré- 
sent moment A few items towards it, however, 
are, that the Hebrew termination of the Qominative 
in ah becomes at in Phœnician, that thc^ formation 
of the pronoun differs, that there is a greater va- 
riety of genitive forms in the Phosnician, etc. The 
abundance of Aramaism noticed in the language 
may hâve crept in at a latè period only: The sur- 
viving remnants consi&t merely of inscriptions on 
coins and stones, chiefly discovered in their co- 
lonies. Of a written literalure nothing has come 
down to us, save a few proper naroes and texts im- 
bedded in a fearfuUy mutilated state in Greek and 
Roman writings, and a few scraps of extracts from 
their writers translated into Greek, but of ex- 
tremely doubtful genuineness. From ail we can 
gather there must hâve existed an immense number 
of Phœnician writings at a remote period of anti- 
quity : chiefly of a theological or theogonical nature, 
whose authors were identified with the gods them- 
selves. From the Phœniciam is to be distinguished 
the Punie, a corrupted dialect of it, spoken in the 
western colonies up to the 7th century A.D., while 
the mother-tongue had completely died out on its 
native soil as early as the 3a century. There was 
even a translation of the Bible extant in Punie, but 
not a trace of it has remained. 

We now tum to the northem Shemitic or 
' Aramaic* branch, spoken between the Méditer- 
ranean and the Tigris ; north of Phœnicia, the land 
of the Israélites, and Arabia ; and south of the 
Taurus ; a dialect poorer both grammatically and 
phonetically than either of the two othei^ Its pe- 
culiarities, moreover, are much of the nature of 
provincialisms, or perhaps even point to a stage 
of corruption of language. Thus it is not the 
change of vowel which produces the passive mood, 
but a spécial prefix (HK) ; the article does not 
begin but end the word ; the sibilants are hardened 
(cfl 3ÎTT, gold ; "ilD, rock ; IVï, retum), etc. The 

earliest trace of its distinction from the Hebrew is 

the well-known translation of Jacob's *TJP3 into 
KTinnC^ ly. A veiy difficult question, and onè, 
we fear, not to be solved before further progress 
in our knowledge of cuneiform literature has been 
made, is that of the language of Babylonia. That 
Aramaic was spoken there is undoubted, but 
whether it was the only idiom pre /aient, as in Syria 
and Mesopotamia, or whether the Chaldaeans who 
had conquered Babylonia had brought with them 
another non-Shemitic (Medo - Persian) language 
'akin to the Assyrian,' has been the subject of long 
discussions. But even granted that 'Chaldaean* 
was akin to Assyrian, it need not therefore by ai^ 
means hâve been a non-Shemitic language. It is, 
on the contrary, now assumed almost unanimons^ 
to be Shemitic ; how far, however, it diflers from 
the other dialects, and in particular what may bai^e 



SHEMITIC LANGUAGES 



829 



SHEMITIC LANGUAGES 



been its direct or indirect influence upon Aramaic, 
we cannot hère investigate. 

Considering the vast importance of cuneifonn 
studies — for Shemitic in gênerai, and for our know- 
ledçe of Aramaic or *Clialdee* in particular---we 
shaJl try briefly to sum up the results hitherto arrived 
at in this ybungest of philological and palseo^phi- 
cal sciences. There are three principal kinds of 
cuneifurm — a mode of writing, be it observed by 
the way, principaUy used for monumental records : 
a kind of cursive being used for records of minor im- 
portance— called respectively the Persian, Médian, 
and Assyrian. The first, which seems to hâve died 
eut 370 B.C, has from 39 to 44 alphabetical signs or 
combinations, which never consist of more than five 
wedges. Its words are divided by oblique strokes. 
The language it represents is Indo-Germanie — the 
motfaer of Zend. The second, variously called 
Médian, Scythic, etc., and supposed to represent a 
Turanian dialect, is the least known and the least 
Important An alphabet of about 100 syllabic 
Oombinations has been constructed out of the very 
feanty remains in which it appears. The third 
tnd most momentous kind, the Assyrian, seems to 
bave spread widest Not only in Babylon and 
Nineven, on the Euphrates and Tigris, but in 
Egypt itsdf has it been found. More than 400 
comoinations, phonetic, syllabic, and idéographie, 
hâve been distmguished in it, although our know- 
ledge is limited to a proportionately small num- 
ber of them. But the difficuldes offered hère 
are of the most extraordinary kind. The spelling 
b varied constantly, the signs occasionally repre- 
^t différent sounds (polyphonous), and the same 
sounds again are represented by différent signs 
{homophonous). Finally, not one, but five or more 
dialects hâve been traced in them ; dialects belong- 
îng to différent tribes or periodsi Thus it will be 
easily understood that many and momentous philo- 
logical problems await their solution from the pro- 
gress on this field ; and little but conjecture is as 
yet allowed on the spécial points of our présent 
SnbjecL Of a primseval Babylonian literature, how- 
ever, supposed to be preserved in certj^n Arabie 
translations, of which some hopes were entertained 
of late years, nothing rcliable has come to light — 
although ^e existence of ancient Babylonian writ- 
ings on mathematics, astronomy (combined with 
astiology), and chronology, is affirmed by ancient 
authois. 

Turning, howevcr, to what spécimens of * Ara- 
maic' there are preserved, we first of ail find certain 
dialects represented in them which hâve been 
variously divided into ' Chaldee ' and ' Aramaic,' 
or into 'East- Aramaic' and • West- Aramaic,' or 
again, into • Tewish,* • Heathen,' and • Christian,' 
and finally, mto ' Palestinian' and 'Babylonian' 
Aramaic. Discarding the term ' Chaldee* as liable 
to give most rise to misunderstanding — ^it is first 
(bund in the Alexandrines <xaX8cu<rrO, and was 
adopted b^ Jérôme — ^we may, for the sake of 
brevity, distingdsh between Aramacan (n^23^K) 

and Syriac porilD, nn^H lajn Pb6), which carry, 
at least in their présent form of writing, the most 
tinmistakable Une of démarcation on their face. 
In the first, the Aramaic (Jewish), we hâve fîirther 
to distinçuish — a, The Galilean dialect, which 
ceems to hâve been notorious for its carelessness in 
the use and pronunciation of its consonants and 
«tïwels. The sounds of K and Ch, P and B; etc: , 



and above ail the guttunds, were hardly distinguish* 
able in their speech. Of so little importance, in* 
deed, do thèse seem to hâve been, tnat they are 
frequently lost altogether, and entirely new sounds 
and compounds are forméd— scarcely to be re- 
duced to any grammatical or logical rule — by the 
mère vulgarity of an idiom saturated, moreover, 
with unconglomerated foreign éléments to the last 
degree. b, The Samaritan—ù e<, vulgar Hebrew 
and Aramsean liiixed up together, in accordance 
with the genesis of the people itself. It, too, 
changes its g^tturals, uses the y most extensively, 
and does not di^tinguish the mute conspuants, c. 
The Jérusalem ôr Judaan dialect scarcely ever pro- 
nounces the final gutturals ; and has besides many 
peculiar tums of its own, which show ail the symp- 
toms of provincialism, but it boasts of a fuller 
vocalisation. Its orthography,' however, is one of 
the strangest imaginable. This last is the most 
important dialect of the three Aramaic ones, for in 
it the whole gigantic targumic and (partly) tal- 
mudical literature is written, while of the Samaritan 
there exist but few documents of a theological 
(Sam. Version), liturgical, and grammatical nature, 
and the Galilean never had, as far as we know, any 
literature of its own. We need but briefly mention 
hère the minor ('heathen') branches, such as 
Zabian — standing between Aramaic and Syriac, 
the language of a mystico-theosophical sect called 
theMendaites (=Gnostics), which is largelymixed 
with Persian éléments, and almost bereft of gram* 
mar ; the Palmyrene^ a kind of Syriac, written in 
square Hebraic characters ; and the Egypto-Ara- 
maiCf found on some monuments (stone of Car* 
pentras, Papyri), probably due to Babylonian Jews 
living in Egypt, who had adopted the religion of 
their new country. 

AU 'Aramaean' literature — in contradistinction 
to * Syriac' — ^is, it need hardly be added, Jewish ; 
from the chapters in Daniel, written in this idiom, 
to the last remuant penned in Palestine or Babylon 
(the worship in the temple and the earlier schools 
being, as we said, the only places for which the 
' Holy Language,' was partly retained), this was the 
exclusively used popular idiom. It had, in lact, 
become so popular and universal that it came to be 
caUed 'Efifialirl (N. T. passim), How it grew to 
be so universally adopted has hardly been suffi- 
ciently explained as yet ; for the Captivity alone, or 
even any number of successively retuming batches 
of immigrants from Babylonia, do not quite account 
for the phenomenon of a seemingly poor and cor- 
rupt dialect supplanting so completely that other 
hâJlowed by the most sacred traditions, that this 
became a dead language in its own country. The 
fact, however, is undeniable, as at the time of 
Christ even Scripture itself was popularl^ only 
known through the médium of the Aramaic Tar- 
gums. Near^ aU the Shemitisms in the N. T. are 
Aramaic, and the same may be said with regard to 
those found in Josephus : cfl Matt Y. 22, Ja«rd == 
Kpn ; xvL 17, ^ *I«pa=:roV 13 ; xxvil 46, ^Xl 

1^X1 Xi|M ffafiaxâapl = WP3B^ HD^ ^ ^ ; î 
Cor. xvi. 22, t^pàp à0d—HI\^ ÏHO ; Joseph. Anfiç., 
ui. 10. 6, *Aaafi$d » WV^ ; lii. 7. I, oOr Xcundat 
«ftXoC(ri=K^^n3, etc. 

' Syriac* is the désignation of an idiom used since 
the second Christian century in the church, which, 
though written in différent characters (Estrangelo), 
Is yet so closely akin to Aramsan that up iô thii 



SHEMITIC LANGUAGES 



880 



SHEMITIC LANGUAGES 



day the opinions are divided as to the propriety of 
making an^ différence at ail between the two. As 
distinguishing marks between them hâve been ad- 
duced, prindpally, the *darker' vocalisation of 
Syriac — o for a, au or ai for o or #, etc. — ^its différ- 
ent accentuation, its ^ as the prefix of the 3d pers. 
future for the Aramaic \ the formation of the S)rriac 
infinité by D, and its greater wealth of words, chiefly 
taken from the Greek j ail of which, however, to- 
gether with other peculiarities, are reduced by the 
advocates of the unity of both dialects to provmcial 
différences and to the peculiar circumstances of the 
times. But hère again, without entering more fnlly 
into the question, we can only venture the statement 
that there seems to be a great prima facie proba- 
bility at least for their being radically identical; 
only let it not be foxgotten that in order to be able 
to K>rm a real judgment it will be first of ail neces- 
saiy that carefuUy-prepared éditions of the litera- 
tures of both shoufd be in our hands. Something 
has been done for the comparatively poor Svriac 
branch; for the Aramaic, nothing. That, now- 
ever, the présent Maronite dialect, as well as those 
of the Jacobites, Nestorians, and other Chaldee 
Christians, is essentially différent from both Syriac 
and Aramaic, is undoubted : just as the vulgar 
Arabie spoken in Morocco and Algeria differs from 
dassical Arabie [Aramaic ; Syriac]. 

The Southern or * Arabie^ branch présents to us 
the most remarkable phenomenon of one spécial 
idiom — ^the Arabie — suddenly, as it were, starting 
out of utter obscurity as the nchest, most complète, 
and most refined among its sister idioms, at a time 
comparatively modem, and exactly when the two 
other brandies seemed to hâve accomplished their 
mission, and what remained of their life was 
merdy artificial. So exquisitely finished and so 
boundlessly wealthy, both lexiodly and grammati- 
cally, has it been from the moment when it first 
became known, that, as there was no unripe in- 
fancy and no struggling growth observable in it, so 
there was aiso no âge, and far less a decay. It 
dius ranks as the freshest and ' voungest :' precisely 
in the same sensé as the Hebrew roay be styled 
the ' oldest* among the Shemitic idioms — ^not, as we 
said above, on accoimt of its having in reality pre- 
ceded the others, or still less of its having given birth 
to the others, but because for some reason or other 
its erowth stopped at a certain period, and it seems 
to hâve retained its ancient physiognomy, while its 
sister dialects went on developing and renewing 
themsdves as much as in them lay and circumstances 
permitted. As the Arabie was in the 6th century, 
so it remained almost unchanged up to our day, 
except perhaps that in absorbîng foreign, especially 
Greek éléments of culture, it did not assimilate them 
quite in the same congenial manner as an Indo- 
Germanie idiom would hâve done. But for ail that 
this language must hâve an âge equal at least to that 
of the other two sister dialects. There are traces 
of its peculiarities — ^peculiarities which divide it as 
sharply as can be from them — to be found in the 
eirliest records of the O. T. We hâve, e.g, 

the artide J^ (the Hebrew [J^p) in TTD^ (Gen. x. 

a6), and fîirther in words like DBHD^rK]» D^tSK^rM], 

CnpyMf I^P/K. The phenomenon, further, of a 
lèàï dedension by the change of the termination of 
the cases, by certain 'broken' pluials, etc.» together 
with many forms of its conjugation, entirdy and 



radically unknown to Shemitic as represented by its 
other dialects, proves its early and most independent 
existence. Th!it, further, the Arabs stood m great 
renown for wisdom, or what we should now call 
Kterary proficiency — ^if this be not a misnomer for 
a time when writing was unknown among them— 
in the earhest historical times, seems clear enough 
from the queen of Sheba*s being an Arab queen, 
the friends of Tob being Arabs, and Solomon*t 
own wisdom bemg compared to the wisdom of the 
Arabs. How it came to pass that absolutdy no- 
thing should hâve survived of ail that literature 
whidi certainly must hâve been produced among 
them is a phenomenon no less remarkable. AÎ- 
though two facts must be borne in mind always — viz. 
that it ail was oral and that it was in verse, or at least 
in a rhythmical form adapted to those early pro- 
verbial sayings and poems of which a vague Arabie 
tradition still speaks ; and Mohammed, for reasons 
of his own, discouraged, nay oondemned, poetry — 
the sole vchicle of ail science, ail tradition, ail 
religion, before him, in the * time of ignorance.' 
A comparison between thé Arabie and the two 
other branches most strikingly shows that super- 
abundance, lexically and grammatically, of the 
former over the two latter of which we spoke. No 
one, the Arabs hold, could, without being inspired, 
keep the whole wealth of their language in his me- 
mory. For not onlv hâve single words . (sword, 
lion, serpent, etc.), hundreds and thousands of nu- 
ances of terms, but many a single word has untold 
numbers of différent meanings. The number of 
its root and words is like 3, i^spectively 10^ to 
those of the Hebrew — such as the iponuments of 
both now are in our hands. No doubt,' had more 
survived of the Hebrew literature, the proportion 
would not hâve been quite as startling — for we 
now hâve only fragments of its religions writings to 
compare with the endless séries of historical, po- 
etical, philological, astronomical, and other Arabie 
literature ; a literature which indeed does not leave 
a single part of science or belles lettres uncultivated, 
and which spreads over abont eight hundred years — 
subsequently to the time of Greece and Rome. Nor 
can the brilliant Hebrew literature that sprang up 
in the middie âges, partly through Arabie mfiuence, 
be taken into account. Arabie, tliough its * dassi* 
cal ' period may be closed with Mohammed, never 
became Neo-Arabic, while the différence between 
dassical Hebrew and late Hebrew, whidi had to 
coin new words at every tum, is quite unmistak- 
ablc. Arabie grammar shows the same ascend- 
ency over that of its sister idioms as does its dic- 
tîonary. It has twice as many forms of conjugation 
as the Hebrew, itsdf richer than the Aramaic by 
the Hiphal, the futunim paragog, and afocap. etc. 
The Arabie has, besides, over both the advantage 
of a comparative^ and of a duai in the verb. Tne 

Hebrew n^) verbs, which in Aramaic are hardly 
distinguishable from the M"*?, in Arabie split into 

the two distinct forms of ^"7 and ^"7 ; just as many 
a Hebrew root with more ^than one signification 
appears in Arabie as a variety of roots, by a slifht 
change of a consonant. Nav, of tluse, it has nve 
more than the Hebrew and Aramaic It has also, 
through the ampKtude of its vocalisation, the chann 
of a more sonorous, a fuller and ncher tone and 
colour than either. But it must also be adcnow- 
ledged. that the harmonious fiow of the more an- 
dent idioms, their unfettered ease and fi«edom. 



SHEMITIC LANGUAGES 



831 



SHEPHELAH 



together with a number of peculiar fonns, like the 
pandlelism with its exquisite natural beauty, is lost 
to a great extent in the Arabie, in which the work 
of the schools, theirpedantic striving after a consum- 
mate correctness ot expression, and their rhetori- 
ad ' painting of the lily,' is often painfully dear. 
But to the Arabie alone is aiso due the spread of 
Shemitic — ^which had been carried atomically, so to 
speak, by the Phœnicians to the ends of the earth, 
but which, with a few isolated exceptions, never really 
struck root anywhere — to an extent never dreamed 
of by any ancient or eren modem language ; a 
spread that has not oeased yet, but is enlarging its 
circles from year to year, together with Islam itself. 
It is, however, as we said, only the last century 
before Mohammed, that has left us a few traces of 
preblamic literature. From the time of Moham- 
med it grew with exotic rapidity into one of the 
most widely and brilltantly cultivated. It em- 
braced well nigh ail the branches of human know- 
ledge and research. Theology, medicine, philo* 
sophy, philology, histoiy, mathematics, geography, 
astronomy, etc., are most extensively represented — 
though as ]ret only a beginning has been made in 
making the treasures of information thèse works 
contùn as widely useful as they might be mad& 
From the I4th century, however, the glory of 
Arabie literature began to wane. 

We hâve hère spoken only of the chief repré- 
sentative of the Arabie branch, the Arabie itsdf— 
still spoken now in the whole south-west of Asia, 
in the north and east of Africa, in Malta, partly 
even in India, and everywhere in fact where Mo- 
hammedanism reigns suprême — which was origi- 
nallv the dialect of one tribe only, viz. the Ko- 
reisn. The ancient traditions speak of Cahtanic 
and Ismaelitic dialects : but at présent we can 
only make a vague distinction between tbose 
of Yemen and of Hedjaz, during the anteislamic 
times. As the Koreish in the north-west were 
the spokesmen, as it were, of the latter, so the 
Himyars or Homerites made their dialect the 
prédominant one in the South, until the Koran 
swept it completely out of Arabia, and, save a few 
scattered quotations imbedded in later writings, 
and some partly mutîlated inscriptions of diffioult 
reading and more difficult understanding, every 
trace of it in its original form has disappeared. 
Tlie Ethiopie or Geez alone, which was spoken up 
to the I4th century in Abyssinia, seemed to hâve 
oome nearest to it But considering the scantiness 
of its own literary remains, which are chiefly of a 
theological nature (partly unpublished), and as such 
subject to the influence of foreign (European) 
missionaries — ^who also left their imprint upon it 
in its exceptional writing from lefl to right ; con- 
sidering Âirther the smaTl progress we hâve as yet 
made in deciphering the Himyaritic, nothing but 
a very cautions judgment on the relation of the 
two can be pronounced. The Amharic, a barba- 
rous Gheez dialect, stands, so to say, on the 
utmost line of the Arabie Shemite, and deserves 
but a passing mention. The idioms of the Gallas, 
Hamtonga, and a number of other tribes, how- 
ever, no longer belongs to the Shemitic, notwith- 
standing some outer resemblances which hâve 
misled former investicators. 

Respecting the visiue représentation of the She- 
mitic Languages, it nuiy be broadly observed that 
writing, wmdi in no language fully expresses ail the 
somids in their varions wades, has, in the Shemitic 



Languages this additional imperfection, that only 
the consonants — the skeleton of the wonl — ^are re- 
presented by real letters, while the vowels originaUy 
are either entirely omitted, or only the longer ones 
are expressed by certain consonants (matres leeti- 
onis). It was only at a oomparatively late period 
that also the minor vowels were added in the shape 
of little strokes and dots above or below the line, 
but this aid too is only intended for less praetised 
readers. Arabie and Hebrew are still commonly 
written and printed without vowels. Another point 
is the direction of the Shemitic writing from right 
to leit (of which only modem Ethiopie makes an 
exception), a peculiarity still inhérent in the alter- 
nate line of the Boustrophedon of the early Greeks. 
The nearest approach to the most ancient form of 
the Shemitic characters is found in the Phœnician, 
from which also ail our European alphabets are 
derived [Arabic Language; Aramaic; He- 
brew ; Writing, etc.] Ti..s.K..^ ifttM^ 

SKN ge^, The shen; Sept i^t raXcuaf, 
readin^robably ]CH, old), a place between which 

and Mi»eh Samuel set up the stone Ebenezer 
(i Sam. ^L 12). It has not been identified. — t 

SHENlk [Senir.] 

SHEOL.\[Hades.] 

SHEPHAM (Dcef, <a bai« regkm,' from nDBf 

'to scrape 'y 2lr0a/u<p; Sephama\ a place men- . 
tioned only in Ae description given by Moses of 
the eastem bordoc of the Land of Promise (Num. 
xxxiv. lo, 1 1). \ lay between Hazar-enan and 
Riblah. Hazar-enln, as has been stated, is pro- 
bably identical with ihe village of Kuryetein ; and 
Riblah still retains i\ old name and site on the 
banks of the Orontes\Shepham, therefore, must - 
be sought for somewheie between thèse two. No 
trace of the name hasVet been found ; but the 
bare treeless country sh(^s that the name was an 
appropriate one. It ough W:o be bome in mind that 
in the above passage Moss is not describing the 
country which was actuallwllotted to the twdve 
tribes, but only the country Bven to them in cove- 
nant promise on certain conokions (see art. Pales- 
tine, p. 383 ; Porter's Dam\m^ ii. 354, seq,y^ 
J. 1^. Ji. 



Jehovah de^ 
of David by 

Zedekiah to 

settled in 



SHEPHATIAH (rTûD», 

/wrf!f; Sept 2a^r^). i.'A 
Abital (2 Sam. iii. 4). 

2. One of the nobles who ui_ 
put Jeremiah to death (Jer. xxxviii. 

3. One of the heads of families 
Jérusalem after the exile (Neh. xl 6). 

4. The head of one of the iamilies,\umbering 
three hundred and seventy-two persons,\f the re- 
tumed exiles (Ezra ii. 4, 57). 

The same name, with a slight variati<^ in the 
original (IH^OfiB^), but not in ue A. V., Icnrs in 
the following : 

5. A son of king Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. IxL 2). 

6. One of the cMef of those vaÛant mef who 
went to DaWd when at Ziklaff (i Chron. XÛI5). 

7. The govemor of the tx%e of Simeon v the 
time of David (i Chron. xxviL i6). 

SHEPHELAH, The (71^1), the native' 

of the tract of ooantry \jm% bet w een the hig^J 
of Jndm and the Meditenanean, to the soaU^ of 



SHEPHERIX 



882 



SHESH 



Shàroli. ' In ihe Onomasticon it is described as the 
région round EUeutheropolis onthe-noith and.west 
(s. V. S^fàtd). In the A.' V. thé word is invari- 
âbly treated as an appelJÀtive,.and is rendered.by 
'vale,' *vallcy,* 'plahi,' Movr plains,' •lowcoontjy! 
(Dent. i. 7 ; Josh. ix^ i ^ x« 40 ; xi. 2, 16^; xii. 8 ; 
XV. 33 ; Judg. ' i. 9 ; i -Kings x. 27 ; I Chron. 
xxvii. 28; 2 .Chron. i. I5;.ix. -27; xxvi. JÔ; 
xxviii. 18; Jer. xvii. 26; xxxii» 44'; xxxiii. 13*; 
Obad. 19- ; 2^h. viL 7)» In i Maccab. xil 38 the 
Criedc form of the word Sephela (Zc^i^Xa) is re- 
tûned in the A. V. 

In Josh. XV. 33*47 the cit|esîn the Shepfaelah 
sffc enoiuefateii. Xhey are prcsented in fonr greii|M \ 
the iirst (33-36) comprising those situated in the 
hilly région at the nortbem end of the plain ; the 
second {37-41)- those of the plain itself ; the third 
(42-44) those in the southem part of the hill- 
région ; and the fourth (45-47) those on the coast 
of Philistia. ThLs shows that the term Shtphelah 
did not originally dénote a plain, or that if it did 
ft was used in this instance to dénote not only the 
plain but the hills inclosing it [Plains ; Philistu; 
Philistines]. — W. L. A. 

SHEPHERD. [Pasturage.] 

• SHEPHIPIION (jlû^Btr) is a vipcr with two 

• 

scales on the head, one above each eye, standing 
ércct somè\^hat in the form of homs. Tins is a 
dangerous species, usually burrowing in sand near 
the holes of jerboas, and occasionally in the cattle- 
paths ; for there are now few or no ruts of cart- 
wheels, where it is pretended they used to conceal 
themselves to assault unwary passers. It is still 
common in Egypt and Arabia. The other species 
is the Eryx Cérastes of Daudin, also small, having 
no movable poison -fangs, but remarkable for two 
very long back teeth in thfc îower jaw, which pass 
through the upper jaw, and appear in the shape of 
two wlMto horoa above 4to su rta c e. It i& known to 
the Egyptîan Arabs by the name of Harbagî, which 
may l^ a distortion of Olficûot in Horapollo, and 
is classed by Hasselquist among slow-worms, be- 
cause in form the tail does not taper to a point. 
Its colours are black and white marblings, and the 
eyes being latéral and very near the snout the 
species h^ an exceedingly sinister aspect, which 
may be the cause of the ancient opinion that the 

ii^TD nulekah^ or basilisk, for we take it for this 
species, killed with its looks, and had a pointed 
crown on the head : now serpents in the form of 
ilow-worms, reputed to kill by thêtl^ight^ are evi- 
dently not rapid in their movements. — C. H. S. 

SHEPHUPHAN. [Muppim.] 

SHESH (Bfe?), also SHESHI, translated fine 

linen in the A. V., occurs twenty-eight times in 
Exodos, once in Genesis, once in Proverbs, and 
three times in Ezekiel. Considérable doubts hâve, 
bowever, always been entertained respecting the 
tme.meaning of the word ; some hâve thought it 
signified fine wool, others. sHk ; the Arabs hâve 
translated Jtbywprds referriug to colours in the 
passages of Ezekiel atid of Proverbs. Some of the 
Rabbins state that it is the same word as that 
which dénotes the number six, and that it refers to 
the number of threads of whtch the yam was corn- 
posed. Thns. Abfurbanel on Gen. 'Xxv. says: 

* Scbesch est linum iEgyptiacum, quod est preti- 



osissimum inter species Uni. (Juum vero tortum 
est sex élis in unum, vocatur schesch^ aut schesch 
mouhsar. Sin ex unico filo tanium, dicitur had* 
(Cels. Hierobot. ii. p. 260). This interprétation, 
however, has satisfied but few. The Greek Alex* 
andrian translators used the word pùcaott which by 
some has been supposed to indicate ' cotton,' and 
by ot|;iers 'linen* [Èyssus]. 
.• In tbe several passages where we fînd the word 
SAesà used, we do not obtain any information re- 
specting the plant ; but it is clear it was spun by 
women (Exod. xxx. 25)., was used as an article of 
ck>thiDgr also for hangings, and even for the saîk 
of-ships, a& in Kynkkil xxvii. 7. It «vidcsit Ikom 
thèse facts that it must hâve been a plant known 
as cultivated in Egypt at the earliest period, and 
which, or its fibre, the Israélites were able to obtain 
even when in the désert. As cotton does not ap- 
pear to havte-.been known at this very early period, 
we must seek for jfAesA among the other fibre- 
yielding plants, such as flax ;^d bemp. Both 
thèse are suited to the purpose, and were procnr- 
able in those countries at the times specified. 
Lexico^phers' do not give us much assistance in 
determming the point, from the little certainty in 
their inferences. The word sAesA, however, ap- 
pears to us to bave a vei^ great resemblance, with 
the exception of the aspirate, to the Arabie name 
of a plant, which, it is cunous, was also one of 
those earliest cultivated for its fibre, namely Aemp. 

Of this plant, one of the Arabie names is i ,% -^-r- 

husheesh^ or the herb par excellence^ the term bemg 
sometimes a])plied to the powderéd leaves oiUy, 
with which an intoxicating electuary is prepared. 
This name has long been known, and is thought 
by some to hâve given origin to our word assassin 
or hassasin. Msucrîzi treats of the heinp in bis 
account of the ancient pleasure-grounds in the vicin- 
ity of Cairo, * famous above alifor the sale of the 
lUMieesnst wnicn is stiii grccdity consuinBiftn^ ttut 
dregs of the people, and from the consumption of 
which spning the excesses, which led to the namé 
of * assassin' being given to the Saracens in the 
holy wars.' 

Hemp is a plant which in the présent day is ex- 
tensively distributed, being cultivated in Europe, 
and extending through Persia to the southemmost 
parts of India. There is no doubt, therefore, that 
it might easily hâve been cultivated in EgypL We 
are, indeed, unable at présent to prove Uiat it was 
cultivated in Egypt at an early period, and used 
for making garments, but there is nothing improb- 
able in its having been so. Indeed, as it was known 
to varions Asiatiç nations, it could hardly hâve 
been unknown to the Egyptians. Hemp might 
thus bave been used at an earlv period, along with 
flax and wool, for making cloth for garments and 
for hangings, and would be much valued until 
cotton and the finer kinds of linen came to be 
known. 

So man^ words are translated linen in the A. V. 
of the Scnptures, that it has been considered doubt- 
ful whether they indicate only différent qualities of 
the same thing, or totally différent substances. 
The latter has by some been thought the most 
probable, on account of the povertv of the Hebrew 
language ; hence, instead of considering the one a 
synonym of the other, we h%ve been led to inquiie^ 
as above, whether shesh may o^pt sîgnify cloth made 
of hemp instead of fla^ Tl^s lyQiud les^ve ^ao^ 



XII I. On the First Ages ofa Written Greek Literature. By C. A, M. Pennell, M. A. 



[Read Nao. 2Srd, 1868.] 

Thb Title of this Paper is couched in gênerai terms, as it seems to me advisable to 
defer a full and exact announcement of the object of the essay, until the ground on whicfa 
the statement is based could be presented with it. Briefly then it is as follows : 

That among the Greeks Prose Literature was first committed to writing not earlier than 
the Persian wars, that is, in lonia not before 500 b.c., in the rest of Greece not before 
480 B.c., and that Metrical Literature was first indited several years later, say 450 b.c. 

The wide difi^erences of opinion, which prevail on the question of Greek writing amongst 
high authorities, ought not to deter any one from hoping and endeavouring to wrest it 
entirely and finally from the sway of ^^ Opinion." Weighty concerns are involved in the 
discussion. 

Nothing but despair of arriving at any certainty can bring an earnest student to regard 
it with indîfierence ; for its bearing on the Homeric controversy constitutes only a portion of 
its usefulness; and, could it be satisfactorily settled, a very important chapter would be 
added to the History of Human Frogress. If the décision were to establish the view which 
is bere propounded, or any thing akin to it, the question would at once become of interest 
to the physiologist, since there would be exhibited a high state of mental development under 
most uncommon conditions. 

Though the arguments of the greatest scholars on this point hâve hitherto appeared 
inconclusive, there is no reason why the ever-increasiug resources and powers of critical 
scholarship should not add this also to the many difficult problems which inferior minds 
perhaps, with superior advantages, hâve at length been enabled to solve. 

The présent efibrt to hasten the solution is inspired by a firm conviction of the 
'soundness of the opinions which I am about to advocate. Nothing less than such an 

1 



MR FENNELL, ON THE FIRST AGES 



assurance could embolden me to run the risk of making confusion worse confounded, and 
incurring for myself the charge of impertinent temerity, by putting forward an account of the 
matter differing widely, as I believe, from ail others which hâve yet been publicly discussed, 
at least in this country. 

^ I am not aware that any thing has been put forward in advance of Prof. WolTs 
conclusion*, *Uhat books were not made in lonia or Greece before the time of the Pisistratids/' 
until very lately, when the author of one of the Society's publications' said as follows : 

" They (the Homeric Poems) are the work I think of an lonic compiler of the school and 
âge of Herodotus and Antimachus, or a very little before that time» one who lived in the 
period when literature was first committed to writing.^ 

The judgment expressed in the last clause suggested to me the subject of this Paper. 

At the outset I deprecate ail inconsiderate submission to the popular préjudices which 
long habituation to a written literature, and none other, has engendered. As such I regard 
the assumption that it was impossible for the Greeks to préserve their poems by oral tradi- 
tion ; that when once the Greeks got to know the alphabet they would almost immediately 
use it to record ideas ; or again, that it inheres in the nature of things that writing on soft 
material was prior to writing on hard. With respect to scratching, drawing, or painting, this 
may be true ; but writing proper is a totally distinct matter. For my theory, though it may 
appear |}rtfiia /acte to be paradoxical and incredible, yet does not présent greater difficulties 
than the other extrême of opinion, but rather ofFers a solution of many which hâve not 
been bitherto overcome. I venture to say that, though démonstration on our part may be 
impossible, our theory rests on grounds which o£P-hand objections will not easily invalidate. 
Thèse grounds are the completeness of the négative évidence of classical authors ; inferences 
drawn from the General History of the Greeks; examination of inscriptions; the évident 
difficulty of writing legibly on Greek vases prior to 500 b.c.; and the indications given by 
the Vocabulary. 

First of ail let us review the testimony of extant classical authors, beginning with prose 
writers and paying spécial attention to Herodotus, whose History, according to my hypothesis, 
is the earliest extant work which was committed to writing at the time of its composition^: 
so that if the internai évidence it offers, or any direct statement therein, goes strongly against 
my position, it at once becomes untenable. 

The pains which Herodotus takes to confirm his assertions, and his fréquent citation of 
verse-makers^, leads one to think that, had he had the opportunity of Consulting prose 
authors, he would not hâve entirely ignored them. Yet he only mentions one, 'ExaToioç 



> See Orote, Bist. of Greeee, Part i. ch. 21 : « The fint 
positive ground which authoriies us to présume the existence 
of a manuscript of Uomer is the famous ordinance of Solon 
with regard to the Rhapsodes at the Pan-AthensBa.'* 

This involves the gratuitous assumption that vxo/3oXi| mnst 
mean not only prompcing but prompting from a M S. « 

* Prolegoœena, xvii. sub fin. 

' On the comparatively late date and composite character 
of our Iliad and Odyssey, by F. A. Paley, M .A. 



^ One cannot read the few introductory sentences of bis 
Ist book without feeling that he speaks of himself as the fint 
historian who employed writing at length, and with a yiew to 
a literary purpose for the use of posterity. 

* Homer, Her. ii. 23, (3, 116, 117; iv. 29, 32; vu. 161. 
Hesiod, t6. ii. 63 ; iv. 32. Aristess, ib. iv. 13. Olen, f6. iv. 
36. ArchilochuSp ib, 1. 12. Muscus, Lasos, Onomacritus, ib, 
VII. 6. Simonides, ib. ▼. 102; vu. 228. 



OF A WRITTEN GREEK LITERATURE. 3 

ô Xoyovoioç* He cites this one three timesy epeaks ' of his genealogical discussion with the 
priests at Thebes, and gives his opinion at length, if not his very words, about the expulsion 
of the Pelasgi from Attica, with the introduction ort 'Ejcaralùç fièv o 'Hytjadi^Spou €<pi^€ iy 
Toiai Xoyoïcrt*. 

In his first chapter he says Tlepaéœv oi Xoyioi (f>aaij but he calls aiso the com-growing 
£g7ptians Xoyuûraroi ficuçp^ toov €701 iç Staveipav àiriKOfxtjv^* Why? he thus gives his 
reason for the epithet, ** fivrifjLtjv âvOpdirœv iraurtav iiraaKeoirreç MaXccrra.'^ He tells ^ us that 
Greeks write from left to right, while the Egyptians write from right to left, but say they do 
the reverse; which shows that writing bustrophedon had been given up before he visited 
£gypt (though this mode was still retained in inscriptions ; which however he ignores, perhaps 
to strengthen the contrast he is exhibiting). 

The only spécial mention of a roU of papyrus of any bulk is that of the Memphian 
Priests^, whence they read 380 names of Kings. Of course no one doubts the antiquity of 
written Egyptian papyri. fii^Xiay small pièces of papyrus, seem to hâve been the principal 
material used in correspondence, at any rate in lonia and the East ; while the device of 
Deroaratus^ shews that Sinryxo, èeXria overlaid with wax were still in use. 

The earliest instance of a Greek using fiifiXla that our Author gives is a letter of 
Histiasus before the lonic revolt. 

In the celebrated locus Classieuse we are told that of the Hellènes the lonians who lived 
around fiœotia first learned letters from Phœnicians; a vague statement, intended to explain 
the superiority of the lonians in this respect. He goes on to say, kuI ras (ivfiXovï èi(ji6épa9 
KaXeovcri âiro tov TraXaiov oc ''Ioimcç oti Korè iv airâvi fiufiXwv èypeta^ro oKfiOe priai aiyeriai re 
Kal ôiiriaif in Si xai to kot i/xi iroKKol rwv (iapfiapwv es roiai/raç otipOepaç ypd(f)ovai^. This 
passage was doubtless written after his visit to Greece, which cannot hâve been earlier than 
B.c. 450, more than two centuries after Egypt was opened to the lonians ; which interval of 
time, and indeed a shorter, would justify the use of àwo rov iraXaiov (which however if 
we are to supply ^ovou is a curions expression, particularly with Koré after it). Elsewhere 
he uses ck TraXaiov^ e/c iraXaiTepov^. 

In his silence in this passage about the other tribes he certainly exhibits a wish to exalt 
Asiatic Greeks ; but he cannot be said to attribute the use of skins or byblus to any save 
lonians. 

He says expressly ^° iSov Se kqI aCroç Kaifi^ia ypânfiara, ** I saw,'' not ** I readJ* The 
simplest explanation ^^ is that he could not read them,' probably owing to the confused 
arrangement of the letters, as is seen on a bronze animal in the British Muséum, but took 
the version given by the local authorities, which may hâve been a conjectural interprétation or 
a pious fraud. If he had read them and yet said the letters were generally the lonic, he 



» II. 143. • VI. 187- » II. 77. » 1. 60, 167. 

4 II. 36. * II. 100. *° Cf. II. 106, Ta* anfXac rat tara Xéirttvrpu aùràt hpwv 

* VII. 239. ^ V. 68—60. Ktù *rà ypéfifiaxa, 

■ lUailer, HUt. of Greek LU. xvii. tbinks Pherecjdcs i> Thirlwall, HUt. qf Greeee^ i. 6; CoL More, LU. HUi. 

Sjrrins one of the first who wrote down their unpolished wladom Bk. m. ch. vii. ( 10. 

OD theepekina. I 

1—2 



MR FENNELL, ON THE FIRST AGES 



either spoke very carelessly, or they were utter forgeries without a pretence to being archaic ; 
tts $1 w V and (p were lonic letters in his time, but could not hâve appeared in a moderately 
old inscription. If he could not read them, bis language is accurate enough. This, too, fits 
in best with the context. He is illustrating his statement that the lonians used Phœnician 
characters with a few altérations. Thèse he could notice without deciphering words. The 
credulity he displays, however, though perfectly excusable, much impairs his crédit as a 
witness on any point involving antiquarian research. 

The use of the word <rvyy paix fia} to designate an oracular response written down, and 
his lack of a distinct word to express <*epistle'," unless fiifiXiov be thought to be such, 
or *^ list/' certainly do not indicate that a necessity had arisen to distinguish long writings 
from short. 

That he had access to registers, though he does not say so, is not impossible ; 
but that the bulk of his information was derived from hearsay, aKoti^ is abundantly testified. 

Compare the expressions of Thucydides i. 20 — ^22% and then contrast Xenophon's^ phrase 
âiravT€^ oï avyypa(f>elt iJ.€fivfivTai. 

Thucydides often speaks of the public use of engraved ar^Xai. By the term Xoyo* 
ypa<poh he tells us that X0701 committed to writing were familiar in his time. Herodotus' 
XoyoTToioi may be included in the later term ; but it would be begging the question to 
assume the two words to be absolu tely identical in meaning. 

Beyond this the Athenian throws no additional light on the subject. 

The earliest author, to whom a book is expressly imputed by an extant classical author^ 
is Heraclitus, by Aristotle^ while with regard to subséquent authors express notice of their 
writings are fréquent enough. 

It is needless for me to dwell on the négative évidence furnished by the lliad and 
Odyssey. 

The question before us and the Homeric question act and react on ' each other ; and 
the new light lately thrown on the former cuts the ground on which they hâve stood hitherio 
from beneath those wbo hold highly conservative views on the other. 

For instance, Franz rests most of his arguments for the antiquity of writing on the 
original unity and perfection of our lliad and Odyssey ; which Mr Paley has most con^ 
vincingly impugned in the paper to which I hâve already alluded. 

Again, Dr Thîrlwall says*, " The interval which elapsed between the Homeric âge and 
the following period of Epie poetry cannot be precisely ascertained, but within that interval 
if not before the Homeric poems must bave been coUected and consequently committed to 
writing, because they manifestly formed the basis of the Epie cycle. It is easier to suppose 
that they were written first." 

Hère is a tacit acknowledgement of the difficulty of the supposition, which is an agreeable 



> Her. 1. 48. 

' VI. 50, iiTicTToXi/sinandatani. 
' Cf. T. 7S, Ta iraXatà mp dKOàl"^ 
« HeUen. 7. 2. 1. 



* Rhet. III. It is floteworfhy that the fhtgments of Her. 
Bclitus are spuriouii. Was Aristotle deoeived in the matter ? 

• Hiêt, of Greeeet i. 6. 



OP A WRITTEN GREEK LITERATURE. 5 

ooDtrast to the contempt Col. Mure exhibits for such as présume to disagree with him, as 
much by the superficial character of bis arguments as by direct attacks, and to the mixture of 
childlike trust and vétéran obstinacy which we find in the préface of Mr Trollope, who does 
not seem able to discriminate between statement and proof, between contradiction and 
réfutation. 

Dr Thirlwall observes, speaking still of Homer, ** And it will be no unparalleled or sur^ 
prising thing if the production of a great work which formed the most momentous epoch 
in the History of Greck Literature should hâve occurred with either the first introduction 
or a new application of the most important of ail inventions." This sentence may be with 
perfect propriety transferred almost Verbatim to Herodotus, the production of whose work 
constitutes au important pièce of évidence in my favour. 

With regard to Melic. Elegiac and lambic poems, I suggest, in opposition to Mr Grote's 
view, that the improvements in music made by Terpander and others in the seventh 
century b.c. either answered a demand for aids to the retaining in memory the more corn- 
pHcated rhythms which had come into use ; or vice versa, the varied metrical developments 
were rendered possible by the increased facilities of melodious accompaniment. 

Among those remains of ascertained date which we possess there is Dot évidence of more 
ihan incised, impressed or painted words. 

The négative testimony of Pîndar deserves especial notice. It is thus summed up by 
Mr Paley, in the préface to bis translation ; ^* Not only is there no mention in Pindar of 
reading and writing^ (except the single allusion to a written name under the words âi;a7(/wi'ot 
and «ypa0€ii;'), but the oral conveyance by ayyeXoi is often alluded to, and the words in 
01. VI. 91, seem absolutely to admit of no other interprétation; for the poet there compares 
the pefson who is sent to impart 'the ode to a scytale or writing-staff, — a short wooden 
cylinder round which ^a. p^per was wrapped for penning brief messages. If the man carried 
with him the ode written, the comparison is utterly pointless. He is called a scytale because 
he performs the same part, vicariously^ of communicating a message. It would be perfectly 
absurd to call an errand-boy figuratively ' a note' simply because he carried a note to a friend'^s 
house. I cannot hère go into this question at length, though quite prepared to do so, and 
though it is one of the greatest importance and interest. I will merely state in a few 
words my présent conviction, — that a written literature was entirely unknown to the Greeks 
even in the times of Pindar.**"* 

Most of the remarks on the aKUToKti apply equally to the passage in Archilochus where 
it occurs, 'Epéu) coi cUvov à-^^vvfxevri GKvroKfiy which seems to mean ** a vexed messenger," 
not "no welcome scytale,** as Col. Mure wrongly translates it, and thereupon builds an 
elaborate argument. 

In the opening of Olympian xi. where àvayiyuwaKw first occurs, the Poet*s heart is 
likened to an àvaOriyjOL, on which the victory is indelibly recorded, and by which the memory 

thereof is preserved. 

•- - 

1 OL XI. 1—3. CoitipAte 01. m. 30. * Ol. vi. 90| Pyth. iv. 27»t Ol. ix. 2d, etc. 



6 MR FENNELL, ON THE FIRST AGES 

The explanation which Mr Holmes propounded in the University Gaxetiej of this 
difficult phrase o-jrvrciXii, seems to me far-fetched. He says that the aT^eXot of Pindar 
are the *^ Masters of the Choir,^ and that ^neas is called the scroU-wand of the Muses. 
^* He is fitted with the power of interpreting poetry by song just as this wand was in- 
dispensable to make a letter or document legible, the scroll requiring to be wrapped round 
it." Let us analyse the metaphor according to this interprétation. The poem is the scroll, 
JSneas with the Music the wand : yet the Muses are supposed to send JSneas, 

**€craï yop ayyeXoç op96^ ijuKOfuov aKuraXa Moccrâv. 

But surely the sender in using a aiarrdXvi would hâve kept one key-wand himself» 
while Agesias would hâve had the other, and Pindar would hâve sent the song to the 
wand : so that the Poet is accused of having used a phrase in a confused, not to say 
erroneous, sensé. Mr Paley saves him from such an imputation. 

Moreover, it were a strange hyperbole to imply that music was indispensable to make 
the Epinicia legible in anything akin to the sensé in which the wand was necessary for 
the readiug of the scroll. 

Pindar is not wont to use metaphorical expressions loosely. Nor did he, I think, 
underrate the beauty of his language and his thought; which depended upon music for 
the enhancement of the delight that they afibrded ; not for its création. 

Again, the word ôpOôç favours Mr Paley's interprétation, for it seems to give the best 
sensé when referred to the correctness of oral transmission. The passage in the fourth 
Pythian, 279» requires us to translate ii àyyeXia^ opOôs, by means of correct reporting, 
as a transition to the idea of music would be abrupt and unmeaning. 

Lastly, the peculiar use of the wôrd aKuraXri by Archilochus is opposed to Mr Holmes^ 
view. 

" If we accept Mr Paley's theory," his cri tic goes on to say, ** we crédit the Greeks of 
Pindar's âge with a power of memory almost miraculous. Those who hâve tried in the 
présent day to commit to memory so much as a portion of one Epinician ode are fain to 
confess that the task is extremely arduous." I need hardly point out the widely différent 
conditions under which a modem student and an ancient Greek set themselves to the task. 
Mr Holmes has surely forgotten the music, which would aid the Greek very materially in 
learning and remembering the burden. Such référence to a modem standard is fatal to a 
true and libéral estimate of the question at issue, and is the source of half the perplexities in 
which it is involved. 

Solon tells us, toi)s Oeaiiovç iypa^a ; and there is one passage in Theognis of Megara 
which should be noticed ; where he says : 

'Ki/pye, cofpiXpfxeptp fièv efioï cnppfiyU eiriKe'KrOw 
Tolao eTPco-ci/) Xi^crci o ouirore KXcwrofieva. 



or o/mevu. 



> L 19. Bergk. 



OF A WRITTEN GREEK LITERATURE. 7 

**Bj mj skill let a stamp be set on thèse verses, and never shall they be appropriated 
without the plagiarism being manifest." 

The nietaphor is from a signet impression on a let ter which establishes the genuineness 
of that letter ; so the peculiar excellence of his style shall prove the genuineness of his verses. 
To take it literally makes the sentiment weak and undignified, and demands a very clumsy 
translation of (ro^cto^éi/w è/moL 

From the style of Theognis and the topics of which he treats, we might well expect 
some allusion to clerkly habits had they been prévalent in his time ; and their absence hence 
is highly significant. 

With regard to tragedians, Dr Bentley has proved very satisfactorily that Thespis did 
not Write, and so his plays, as being inferior to those of younger dramatists, were quickly 
allowed to perish and fade from memory. 

If we are to believe Thucydides» the âge was careless about history generally, and 
therefore would not value the first faulty germs of the drama as monuments of the progress 
of Art. 

^schylus mentions the mottoes painted on shields in the Septem contra Thebas^. 

He uses' SiXroi metaphorically (tables of the heart), fiutjfioveç SeXroi (ppsvwPy several 

times. 

He mentions' TrivaKes in the Supplices twice. Also filfiXoi occurs in the passage 
1. 946, 7: 

ravT ov irlva^iv eanv eyyeypamixeva 
ovS^ èv TTTt/^alç fiifiXwv KareaKppayiameva» 

The second verse whereof is most probably spurious. If this be not conceded, I say 
that the fiifiXoi of the Egyptian is contrasted with the irlvcuceç of the Greek. 

Written ordinances are alluded to in the Supplices: thus, to ydp tckovtwv aiffa^ 
ToiTot^ Too €¥ Ôeafiiot^ oUas yeypawTcu^ 1. 707. 

In a fragment there is dç Xeyet yepov ypdfifia. In the Prometheu8\ he ascribes to 
Prometheus the invention of ypaixncLTwv cri/ydeo-fc^, and of memory. 

If the phrase means the art of writing, the myth conveys the truth that this invention 
is due to forethought, and does not interfère with the facts which arc wrapt up in the two 
historical my ths above mentioned. 

In the Trachiniœ^ of Sophocles we hâve the TroXaeei ieXro^ of Hercules. 

In the Œdipua Rex, 1. 411, an allusion to Registering; ay pairra OeHv vojunfia* in the 
Antigone, 

In fragments, two metaphors from iiXroit as in iGschylus, and the phrases ypafifàarwv 
TTTi/^àç and <f)oiviKioiî ypdfÂfiacrip, and the proverbial expression opKous yvvaiKoç €is uSwp 
ypa<p(o'^. 



* L 434, 468, 646, 660. 

* Pnmi. 799, SuppL 179, Cho. 460, 699, Eum. 27& 

* L 463, 946. 

* Pimn. 460. 



• 1. 47, 167. 

• 1.464 

7 Cf. Plato, Phttdrua^ oùk étpa «Tovè^ avrà €¥ Hèari y^- 



8 MR FENNELL, ON THE FIRST AGES 

The références to writing in Euripides are far more fréquent. 

In the Hecuba is found the manifest anachronism vô§iwv yftaipaL 

There are sundry notices of the use of SeXroi for correspondence, espedally in Iphigenia 
in Aulide^, and in the Iphigenia in Tauris, SiXrov iroXvOvpoi iiairruxai 

In the J^alatnedeSf the hero says : Ta t^s y^ XtiOrj^ (f>apfiaK opOwcav fiovoç ad>mva 
Kai ipwvovvTa GvXXafids re Oelç^ e^eupov âvOpœTroiai ypafiy^oT eiZivau So that be probably 
foUowed the legend of Stesichorus. 

In the well-known passage, Hippolytus^ 451: 

oerpi ^ev ovv ypa<paç t€ rHv iraXcuTepwv 
€j(ovcriv, auTOi t eiaiv ev fiovaan aci'-'^ 

ypa^a^ probably means paintings (on vases, walls, &c.). 

Euripides* uses ypa(pai for gravings of letters, it is true, but the plural is used of 
pictorial device in the Phœnissœ^ 129. 

The allusion to paintings is just what would be natural in the mouth of the rpoéo^^ 
and the two instances adduced are just such as would be choscn as subjects by an artist. 
Cf. HippolytuSj 1004 : ovk oloa Trpâ^tv r^i/ce trXi^u Xoytp kXuwv ypcL<pvi re Xci/crcrdur. 

In Iph^ in Aul. 191 y are the \vords èp ^cXrois YViepldi^ i.e. the tablets of the Poets. 
Thèse two passages constitute the strongest évidence against myself to be found in the 
Tragedians. 

The first extant notice of a transcribed copy is, I believe, in Aristophanes, Ranœ^ 
(b.c. 405), thus: 

Aiof. : €?ri T^ç P€wi avayiyvaxTKovTi /moi 
Ttjv * AvSpo/uieoaif irpoç èfiavroy. 

Though many explain this by the name written on the ship. The Andromeda was 
exhibited b.c. 412. 

From this passage one cannot argue an extensive publication such as would imply a 
long standing acquaintance with proper volumes of dramas. 

For Dionysus, who is the reader, is the Deity most likely to take an interest in dramatic 
Works, and therefore to bave a copy. 

if we accept this passage from the Ranœ as the most absolute évidence that the 
publishing of plays was extensive at the time specified, still my case is not materially 
affected. 

It is far from being unaccountable according to my view that MSS. should be common 
and even cheap in the last decad of the fifth century b.c., though I am very far from 
maintaining that ic was really the case in the time of Plato. If this much however is 
insisted on, an answer may be given as follows. When once the study of writing was fairly 
adopted it very rapidly gained great popularity and a demand for books arose which the 



> 1. 36-99. ' Iph. AuL 863. Hipp. 1311. * 1. 62. 



OF A WRITTEN GREEK LITERATURE. 

Hourishing Btate of Oreek commerce before the Peloponnesian war» and the employment of 
dave labour in copying, supplied so well that from Plato^s Apology we find, as the Master of 
Trinity kindly pointed out, that it was sometimes possible to buy rec *Aval^ayépov /3c/3Xia— • 
«c TTVLvv TToXKoi ipaj^^^^ €ic T$9 ofyxjioTpaç^* So early as at the beginning of the fourth 
century before Christ, Eupolis too in a fragment preserved by Pollux makes familiar mention 
of book-stalls, ou rà /Si/SXi*' wvia; while throughout the'works of Plato and Xenophon we 
disoover sundry traces of literature which has since perished. My theory would almost lead 
one to anticipate this state of things a priori. 

During an interval of nearly half a century a people already possessed of a very higb 
intellectual cultivation would ply their newly acquired faculty» as we may call it, with a zeal, 
▼igour and success, which» though they bave hitherto appeared astonishing, seem only naturel 
when ail the exceptional circumstances of the case are taken into considération. 

There is not much reason for doubting that from the time of Sophoclesi inclusive, dramas 
and other poems were written, perhaps transcribed. My object in examining the younger 
poets, has been to show that their works contain nothing whence it must be inferred that 
they had recdved a large inheritance of written literature. 

As far as I am able to ascertain, this vast mass of négative évidence with regard to 
MBS. or long writings in early times has hitherto been generally ignored, and yet it can 
hardly be considered upon reflection to be without weight. 

I now propose to show that the inference which I bave deduced from this négative 
évidence is not, after due considération of ascertained facts, contrary to reason, by making 
some suggestions as to how and why the delay in the application of writing to books is likely 
to bave come about. So long as what I allège is not absurd, it will not matter if every 
particular does not command assent, as it will strengthen my cause greatly to give a probable 
or even merely possible account of a few main points in the rise and progress of the 
art which shall harmonize with the theory which has been propounded. 

If this attempt were perfectly successful, and a good excuse given for the origination 
of existing opinions, the argument would be at once concluded ; if it utterly failed the 
négative évidence would go for nothing ; while by partial success that évidence is pro- 
portionately supported. 

It is most natural to suppose that the Greeks picked up the syllabarium of the 
Phœnicians during active commercial intercourse with those trader^. 

Before the alphabet could be communicated, Phœnicians must bave understood a little 
Greek. 

In the Odyssey' this is not represented as being the case, as the Phœnician merchant 
therein mentions, though he stays a year tra£Bcking at Syros ; still at the end of that time 
carries on a bargain by dumb show, o èi t^ Kariveuae ciwir^. Now the Chalcidians and 
Eretrians of Eubœa» and indeed the inbabitants of that island generally, appear to bave 



^ s. M. * Papjnii-tbMts, pcdispi. ' Od« xv. 416 4 6 8, 



10 MR FENNELL, ON THE FIRST AGES 

been in early times the most vigorous colonisBers and navigators t tberefore therè la ail 
â priori probability that they should be the first to learn the Alphabet/ On turning to the 
relies of History, or, if that be too strong a term, of tradition, we find Stesichorus claiming 
the invention of letters for Falamedes, an Eubœan. The reality embodied in this niytbical 
attribution of the invention to Palamedes is simply that Eubœans first adopted the use 
thereof. 

The fact underlying the référence to Cadmus, the typical Eastem, is that the letters wen^ 
derived from Phœnicians. To a Greek of Herodotus' time the two legends seemed ccm* 
tradictory: this simple explanation, suggested according to Muller's^ method, renders their 
co-existence intelligible to us. 

The fact that the digressive remarks of Herodotus on the introduction of letters follow 
so closely on his statement that be finds by further investigation that the Gephyrssans 
who claimed Eretria as their ancient home were really Cadmeans, roakes it seem not un- 
likely that the Gephyrœans and Eretria were somehow connected with the beginning$ 
of the art. 

However this may be, the commercial relations of the Greeks with other nations cannot 
well bave been intimate-*— so intimate as to enable them to acquire a foreign alphabet — ^until 
^he struggles for existence represented by the Greek migrations had been succeeded by 
comparative quiet, and piracy no longer flourished ; and therefore it is not unreasonable» in 
the absence of évidence to the contrary, to place the commencement of Greek writing in the 
eighth century b.c. at earliest: though much later vases hâve no writing. 

There is good reason for considering that excepting for purposes of correspondence and 
commerce the earliest use of the Alphabetic characters was to distinguish Votive Offerings 
stored in shrines. 

This hypothesis, and the placing of ypa/âfiara as opposed to aiifiara after the Homeric 
âge, are justified by the silence of even our Homer about writing generally, and by the 
necessity for some means of marking gifts that must bave arisen with their accumulation. 
In support of the hypothesis that the progress of the art up to the time of the Persian Wars 
was graduai, we bave seen that there is not a scrap of évidence in the Classical Authors that 
any thing approaching to a volume was made much bcfore that period. 

There is abundant évidence to show that graving or stylus writing was at and before that 
period used, 

1. To mark votive offerings and commemorate achievements, 

S. For epistolary communication, 

8* To register names, 

4. To défi ne boundaries, 

5. For endorsing rude contracts and treaties, 

6. For êirc- and àvaypayniara on temples, tombs, &c. 
7* For publishing laws, 



* Scieotific mfthdlogj. 



OF A WRITTEN GREEK LITEBATURE. 11 



r' 8. To record oracular responsesS 
g. For making memoranda, 

10. For sketcfaing maps, 

11. For making geometrical figures. 

(Words, at first single names, were painted on vases, &e., not on those of the oldest. 
period.) / 

In tbe absence of évidence to the contrary, we are free to suppose writing on hard or« 
painting on soft substances applied to many other purposes not involving a great extent- 
of writing; but emphatically not toforming volumes of any lengtK 

The beginning of the Olympic Era was not very long after the Alphabet had established 
itself in the Temples and had been adapted to its new functions. This is tlie first Historical. 
mémorial of wider employment of the characters. 

I hère remark that the Greek mode of Computing time is not characteristic of a^ 
writing âge. 

Again, the Codes of Solon and Pittacus indicate, like the Olympic register, if nothing 
else at least, an enlarged compréhension of the capacities of the Art in their respective states, 
Athens and Mitylene. 

The improvement of graving on a layer of wax or gypsum would not lengthen the^ 
spécimens to any great degree ; though it doubtless multiplied the applications of the art. 

It may hâve been invented originally to facilitate Registration. 

The employment of letters for correspondence and business, and especially for counting, 
amply sufiices to explain allusions to the early teaching of letters, of which Nitzsch makesi 
sûch a point. Such allusions, I say, prove not a jot more than I am willing to allow, and 
the account to which Nitzsch and Col. Mure turn them only shows on how little basisj 
enthusiastic ingenuity can poise an inflated superstructure of plausibilities. 

If it be though t that the Greeks were too ingénions and too fond of literature to be 
deterred by a want of mechanical aids from the gratification of their taste: my answer is,' 
first of ail it is by no means patent that writing was the taste of the early Greeks — ^in fact 
such a statement begs the question. The art would naturally hâve met with strong 
opposition from professional minstrels and reciters, as it showed signs of trespassing on their 
domain ; and perhaps also from the keepers of temples who would aim at a monopoly of • 
knowledge. 

Secondlffj vague talk about Greek taste and ingenuity in early times, assumes a morei 
rapid advance from the crude state of society described in Homer than is warranted. 

A uniform rate of progress in art and science must not bc assumed as a matter of course ; 
nor must one judge of early âges by the speedy and signal advance made in the 5th 
century b.c., the energy of which may (as is often the case) hâve been conséquent upon a long 
previous period of comparative stagnation. 

It is generally acknowledged that a high state of éducation was arrived at without 



> #.p. The ondes edllected by the FSsittniidi ind IntcipoUted by Onomacritm. 

2—2 



12 



MR FENNELL, ON THE FIRST AGES 



mechanical aida by the cultivation of memory and .inusic'. Now the improTemenlfe in 
writing, such as the use of Papyrus, learnt in commercial intercourse, were at first applied 
to the purposes of trade; and therefore may hâve been unnoticed or despised by men' of 
refinement until by slowly and surely gaîning ground they forced themselves upon their 
aittention and gained their approval^ Tbis view does not in my opinion impair the 
value of the négative évidence of Authors. This would give a reason for the apparent 
delay in the adoption of the fivpXos by the lonians (though they were in constant com- 
munication with Egypt from the time of Fsammetichus^ ; for which however their 
struggles against the Lydian Monarchy may in part account), and also for the silence 
respecting the progress of the" art ; which hâve been to me the most serions difficulties the 
question has presented. 

A slow progress in the employment of letters may be further accounted for by the 
modifications of the Fhœnician Alphabet, which were necessary and which Herodotus states 
were made before it became a fit vehicle for the Greek language^ 

One of the earliest changes wrought by the Greeks was the assumption of the Semitic 
aleph, he, jod and ain as vowels instead of breathings '. 

This appears to me to be the resuit of considérable study and analysis both of their 
own tongue and the new means of expression. 

Discrepancies between the respective sibilants of the two languages presented further 
difficulties ^ 

San which « Schin M became confounded with Samech Z Z« &nd after a while the sign for 
Schin was dropped out, and the Sigma more recently used, being the sign for Samech, was put 
into the place of Schin; that of Samech being taken in course of time by the Greek 
double consonant Çi + • 

Ferhaps their having adhered so much to the Phœnician order is due to thèir having used 
the alphabet for numération from its first introduction, before they learnt to represent 
words by it. 

Until Y was invented O stood for itself^ ov, and cd; while E stood for epsilon, eta, 
and in Attic for ei at first*. 

How can it be assumed that Greeks rushed at once into bookwriting in the face of thèse 
difficulties ? 

The'difiêrences of the Molic and Doric from the lonic and Attic alphabets do not favour 
the hypothesis of eurly literary communication. 



1 See Blakesley^s Pref. to Herodotus. 

' Perhaps Socrates in the Fhœdnu, 276i illuitrates this 
préjudice in his anecdote about 8c66, to whom OafioÙ9 saja, 
oÙKOV» fiinifinv dW* itwofivifvetùv <pdpfiaKo» wJtpn, 

* Since writing this I was glad to see the idea confirmed bj 
the autboiitjr of Mr Hommes. 

« B.c. 664—617, Herod. il. I5d. 

* Donaldson, New Cratfflus, ch. ▼. The Greek alphabet 
présents peculiarities of a most embarrassing nature. It de- 
rives its characters and their amngement Irom a family of 



languageM with which it has no immédiate connection, and the 
whole development of its systsm of writing is at Tariance #itb 
the notation on which it is based. 

* Franx, Epigraphice Grœea Introd. m. 

' See Frans, Epigr, Introd. m. and Bévue Arehlologtquê^ 
Vslphabet Hébraïque et Talphabet Arameen par M. de 
Vogue. 

' This u^e remained until a late period, as may be seen in 
the inscription known as Dirse Teiorunu 



OF A WRITTEN OREEK UTERATURE. 12^ 

lonie «ad Attic 

l A \ 
I 





JEolo-DorUii. 


Tjambda 


L h» 


Digamma 


F 


Iota 


c > 


Xi 


K M, 4 ^ 


Koppa 


• 9 


Sigma 


M ^ 8 z 


Chi 


f 4, y 


Eta 




Oméga 





^ 2' 

+ X 

H as a vowel 

It appears likely that the lonians used H and Q before Simonides grew up ; and that 
therefore hjs name became connected with them only because the popularity of his epigrama 
made them known in Greece proper. So with "Ir and Sf which hâve been attributed to 
Epicharmus^ AU this is proved by existing spécimens of graving, some of the most important 
of which are in the British Muséum. Franz gives facsimiles of the Therœan inscriptions, 
which he and other antiquarians refer to the beginning or middle of the sixth century. 

From this source, and from inspection of inscriptions on vases, we also dérive the 
information that writing bustrophedon was not at ail uncommon as late as about b.c. 460. 

Now this fact fits in very well with my view. The bustrophedon System, I take it, 
would be soon abandoned by the users of stylus or pen ; and the adoption of an easier method 
by them would speedily afiect the chiseller, graver, or painter. 

In the Eliac brass' accordingly we hâve one of the earliest appliances of this improve- 
ment ; and that, too, in the very région where we should expect pro6ciency and progress in 
the art, owing to the large collections of inscriptions in the Olympic Temple, and the 
periodical concourse from ail parts to the great games. This remark applies also to Delphi 
and Corinth. 

If on the other hand we are to believe that writing was used privately long before 
it was used publicly% this difficulty occurs. We must either say that writers with stylus 
or pen persevcred in writing bustrophedon for a long time (which however Herodotus 
utterly ignores, and it seems improbable on the face of it), and that the sculptors and 
painters borrowed this style from MSS. or that the latter, with MSS. Stœchedon to copy, 
deliberately chose a new and less simple style for public use. 

The allégation that the rétention of bustrophedon writing in inscriptions was an 
affectation of antique forms is not warranted. The rétention of black letter in public 
documents in England, urged as a parallel case by Col. Mure, is not analogous. The most 



* Aftervuds the aupirate excq>t at Athens. I branch transferred the then fonn of Xi to express Chi, Monun- 

* In the interesting fragment of Euripides* Thneiu, we mh's opinion supports the notion of the antiquitj of Xi. 



hâve 

OHgEYg 

This kind of Thêta is not found in older Attic inscriptions 
and tlie Sigma neither in Attic nor lonic 

' Perhaps invenced by /Solians or Dorians by modifying 
Upsilon, the Ust letter of the then alphabet. WhUe the lonie • 



* Cf. Franz, part ii. ch. i. und Kirchoff, StwUen mir Gei* 
cMchie des GrieêhMchen Alphabets. Nitssch, Hisi* Ham^ 
Meleiemata, v. Xnventorea enim fere dicuntur ii vel ipsi vel 
eorum eponymi quorum usu rcf ante inventa primumindaniit; 

* Not earller than b.c. 530. 

* See Franzy Introd. iy., especiaUy the quotation from 
Nitssâi. 



14 MR FENNELL, ON THE FIRST AGES 

stolid conservatism does not long resist obvious improvements ; and studied affbctation of 
archaism is generally found in an effete and degenerate âge, and therefore seems alien to 
Greeks of the fifth century b.c. 

The simplest explanation of Herodotus' statement is that Tolume-writing was not taken 
up until the modem fashion of wrîtîng had become prévalent, which the inscriptions prove to 
hâve been not earlier than the fifth centurj. No long inscription of the old style has corne 
down to us. 

At any rate, if volumes were wrîtten and wrîting generally taught, it is not «asy to 
account for the rudeness of the inscriptions older than b.c. 450. 

One fact Epigraphicc establishes, which is that the grammarians did not know much 
about the history of the alphabet. 

The brilliancy of the literary epoch at Athens, which foUowed the Persian wars, has 
generally been traced to the moral cffects of the national triumph, and the substantial results 
of the conséquent Impérial position and commercial eminence of the State. 

Thèse sources of élévation, though doubtless great, are yet surely insufficient to account 
thoroughly for a mental developement so great and sudden. 

The peculiar influence which I ascribe to those wars makes the relation of cause and. 
effect clear and definite, a circumstance which in itself constitutes no mean argument in 
my favour. 

To proceed to another point immediately suggested by the account given of the. 
coropletion of the alphabet, I consider it was owing to their external circumstances that the 
lonians, and their imitators, the other Asiatic Greeks, took the lead by perhaps almost half 
a century in the use of a fuUer alphabet, and (closely connected with this) in the cultivation 
of literature proper beginning with prose. By sea they had more fréquent intercourse 
with Phœnicians, and subsequently with Egypt, than other Greeks ; and on land with the 
Lydians and the JSast generally \ After their conquest by the gênerais of Cyrus, their 
disasters were partly compensated by the doser contact with Asiatic civilization. Until the 
revolt, Miletus was the capital of letters. It might be suggested that the Syracusans, 
who appear eminent in intellectual culture during the reign of Hiéro, were not directly 
affected by the Persian wars : but they were connected with Corinth, for whose eminence I 
hâve already endeavoured to account, and their wars with and defeat of the Carthaginians 
at Himera offer an explanation of the fact which suits my argument. 

This part of the subject will be dismissed with an attempt to show how the change from 
the use of memory in preserving literary work to the employment of writing was gradually 
and silently efiected, when once the merits of the latter method had won a tardy acknow- 
ledgement. 

As facilities for writing increased and studies multiplied, educated men became anxious to 
possess records of their favourite compositions hitherto handed down oraUy and stored in 
memory. In this way collections of single pièces or detached épisodes would be formed 



i finpdk iii l<Mk 



OF A WRITTEN GREEK! LITERAtURE. 



'."16 



•without much regard to obtaining complète éditions of an aùthor*s Works. The epic ballads 
bad remained mogt universally popular, and had been and were most easily remembered 
owîng to the continuons character of the thèmes and the regularity of the rhythms. Hence 
it cornes that we find rà TpwïKa quoted so much by Greek classical authors, and that we 
possess our Ih'ad and Odyssey. The really *^ fugitive pièces" of Lyric or Elegiac had 
been handed down, and were now committed to writing, some in one place, some in 
another, according to their original destination or the caprice of minstrels and reciters, 
with far less chance of being gathered together, when death had put the only complète and 
correct édition of the poefs works, so to say, *'out of print" for ever. Of course some 
passages, by their singular beauty or pith, acquired a wider celebrity. National and 
family pride would cause the Epinicia to be especially treasured; and thus we might 
expect à priori that thèse above ail would be preserved. This is notably the case : so 
that the lyric remains, especially those of Pindar, bear out my explanation as to the reason 
of their fragmentary nature. (N.B. The bulk of the remains of Erinna and Simonides 
are epigrams.) 

It may be answered that vast quantities of lyric poetry reached the Alexandrine period, 
and were not lost till the destruction of the Alexandrine library. Still there may hâve been 
more copies of the Epinicia, and therefore greater chance of préservation. 

Such is my suggested explanation of a few salient points of the early history of 
Literature. 

I will now endeavour to meet some spécial objections which may be urged by opponents ; 
namely those founded on 

Ist. The reported formation of Libraries in early times. 

Snd. The fragments and notices of early prose authors. 

Srd. Early registrations. 

4th. Legends attributing writfng to the mythical period. 

Firstly, it is true that we are told by late writers of the libraries of Pisistratus and 
Polycrates S yet they are not mentioned by the lovers of literature who lived much nearer 
the times of those despots. 

An endeavour bas been made to account for this by supposing that the Persians 
destroyed thèse collections* ; in which case I take it to be incompréhensible that no murmur 
of regret should be heard among the ancien t voices. 

In the absence of such expressions the fact of any one being driven to such a supposition 
is but an unconscious acknowledgement that after the Persian war there were tioû records of 
literature earlier than the Persian war. 

So far from believing in the library of Pisistratus, we ought rather to consider that the 
codification by Draco and Solon marks an epoch of progress in graving in Attica. 



^ CoL Mure, referring to Herod. y. 90, bas swelled ro^ 
Xpfl^f^^ 'vo^v lirriirro oï HiaivrpaTlèai into * the onculer 
pottioiLofthelitirarj (of PisistintMi).' 

' JEUwlinson's Herod, VoL i. p. 42 note. * FolycnUê bad 



formed a library at Samos, PiKiatrattti at AtheB8,but tbe latter 
had certainly been canied to Suaa, and it la rerj unlikelj that 
tbe former bad escaped the gênerai ruin conséquent upon the 
treacbcry of Meandrins.' Her. ii. 146 leqq. 



16 



MR FENNELL» ON THE FIRST AOES 



Beyond âedicatory or titular notices and rude treaties, there are no trustworthy recorda 
of legible inscriptions earlier than b.c. 650, possibly excepting a few lonic spécimens of vases. 

Professer Maine^ says *< codes were certainly in the main a direct resuit of the invention 
of writing,^* Nitzsch bas pointed out that Lycurgus cannot be said to bave formed a code, as 
bis prfprpai were scita, and bad notbing to do witb jurisprudence. 

Again, tbe inscriptions said to bave been written by tbe seven sages, and tbe fact tbat tbe 
earliest epigrams preserved are tbose of Sappbo and Erinna, Solon^s contemporaries, are 
suggestive of inscription on bard material baving taken a start in Solon's time, 

Secondly, I cannot conceive prose writing not to bave sprung into being as soon as 
mecbanical obstacles were overcome; still less can I imagine witb some tbat poems were written 
for nearly two centuries before a single sign of prose appeared. On tbe contrary, I bope 
to show tbat for a sbort time wbat bas been supposed to be early written prose was banded 
down orally ; as was tbe case for centuries witb Poetry« 

Tbere are tbree kinds of work under tbis bead ^— 

Ist. Tbe généalogies and Tbeogonies ; 

Snd, Tbe Pbilosopbical productions ; 

ârd* Tbe narratives, &c. of tbe Xo^oiroco/* 

Now tbe existence of the first does not necessitate nor imply justa volomina, 

Witb regard to tbe second, Anaximander% b.c. 570 — MQ^ is tbe first supposed to bave 
composed a treatise. Whether be committed it to writing bimself or not, tbere is no reason 
to assume it to bave been bulky ; so tbat it migbt come under tbe bead of ùwofiwiiiiaTa. 

Tbe same may be said of Anaximenes. 

Pytbagoras cannot be proved to bave written anytbing, tbough some verses are ascribed 
to bis peu. 

Xenopbanes* and Parmenides of Elea, and Empedocles of Sicily, also composed verses, 
wbicb I tbink is évidence tbat tbey did not tonte, as prose was far more suited to tbeir 
thèmes than mètre. 

Surely it was the necessity of aiding tbe memory in default of other manner of recording 
tbeir sentiments, wbicb led pbilosopbers and legislators too, according to wbat is said of 
Charondas, to confine tbeir sentiments and injunctions to lines and feet. 

Fhilosopbers of after times thought tbis practice worthy of imitation, and so gave rise to 
a large body of didactic poetry. Hence the resuit of original disabilities is often considered a 
spontaneous efibrt and natural product of tbe Hellenic genius. 

Tbirdly, we bave tbe X0701. Tbis term tbe historians evidently used in contradistinc- 
tion to emi in référence to the rude éléments of bistory treated soluta oratione, such aa 
Tbeogonies, généalogies, geograpbical notices, narratives, and also mtths, ail wbicb subjects 
rà iiTfi bad embraced^ 



* 4ncUni tam^ Ch. x. p. 15. 
« See Ofote*f Plato^ VoL x. 

* Woify Prokg. 89, faitqne din hae nniea via fmbliee pio- 
dendi ingenii nt etlim Xcaopluuiem pocmata sua ipium ^^9* 



invau Diog. liMrt. ix. 18. MitHord, disii. u. S. ctp. noie 
58. 

« e.g. Hetiod*! Theogwfàa^rd^Of^uiif and AxitleM' 
matptKt. Herod. XV. 18. 



OF A WRITTEN OREEK LITERATURE. 



17 



Thèse \oyoi were composed for récital, and their first object was to amuse and interest. 

Thucydides^ tells us Xoyoiypa<poi avvéOeaav «iri to TrpoaaywyoTêpov tÇj âtcpocure^* 

This being their character% there seems no reason why they should not bave been 
preserved by oral tradition, as were the AlawiriKoi^ or 'S,ufiapiTtKot Xoyoi, whicb were fables 
or witty anecdotes. 

No one need consider this impossible who bas had expérience of sailors^ yams, or who bas 
been condemned to the society of a student of Joe Miller. 

I think that the X0701 were not unlike in origin and gênerai character mutatis mutandis 
to the Gesta Romanorum ; the taies and fables in which were very likely repeated again and 
again to wile away the leisure time of the monks before their committal to writing. By the 
time Thucydides wrote they had been committed to writing to some extent. Probably 
Hecataeus was the first or one of the first Xoyoypaipot as opposed to XoyoïrotoL 

Findar supports this view of the Xôyoi by coupling them with àoi^oi* Pyth. i. 94. 

And still more strongly in Nem. vi. 47» if Xayioiat and not Xoyoïat is to be read, by 
the words irXarelac irairro0§v Xoylouriv ivri irpôaoiot vSurov evkXea Twèe Koafieiif» Whence it 
would be inferred that the Xiytot travelled about like the xidap^fèoi (or sent ayyéXoi) to 

« 

récite their taies. 

Logography may bave grown from the use of fitnifwvt^ ^iXrot. 

With this view of the X07C01, the legend of Herodotus' public recitation of bis work at 
Olympia harmonizes. If this were certain, be would hâve united in bis person the last of 
the XôytfH and the first urropiKoç» 

There are still three names to be mentioned — Pherecydes Syrius the mystic, and Cadmus 
of Miletus and Acusilaus. The authority on which the few fragments remain is that 
of grammarians. Diogenes Laertius distinctly says that Pherecydes* book is preserved ; but 
Josephus^ says ^bepcKvi^v rov ^piov rai TlvOaiyopav xal QaXtrra ^rârreç <rvfA(pwpw9 
ofAoXoyovat oXiya avyypayf/cu ical ravra to7s ^EXXi|<riy eli^oi èoKeiP iravrww àpyoïirara irai 
fAoKm aura wurreuowri» uw eKsivwv yeypatpBain 

Suidas says under Hecatœus rà *AKawriKaav vo0€V€Tcu. Acusilaus, a Dorian, is supposed 
to bave written in lonic. MûUer says, ** because the lonians were the founders of the 
Historical style, a practice universally followed in Greek literature.^ This is a strong 
statement : should it not be limited to Asiatic Greeks ? 

Granting, however, that this author taroie the works which bear bis name. Granting 
also the inditing of a short treatise by Pherecydes, as well as by Anaximander and 
Anaximenes, still we may look upon them as spécial instances of skill and patience, and we 
are not justified in therefore concluding that poets were at the same time deserting the far 
easier method of perpetuating their works, which they had inherited from time immémorial 



> Bk. 1. 21. 

* Orote, Hiêi, Pt. x. ch« xxi. note. Mariner mendoni un- 
wiitten proie taies preserved in memory and laid to be repeated 
ftom âge to âge in nearly the lame woids, in the Tonga 



* Aristot. Rhei. 11. 26l Ariitoph. Aves, 6A, Veipm^ 12S9, 
1437,1437,1448. Poor, 1S9. 

* Conir, ApUm. : quoted by Stortt, Frag» Phen. § 6 
note A. 



18 



MR FENNELL, ON THE PIBST AOES 



l8 it passible again that they were written oUt» as I hâve suggested poems were, 
subsequently either from unassisted memory or froni short notes? 

The name of the original author was attached rather to the matter than the composition, 
which cannot hâve possessed merit enough for the writer'^s name to supersede or accompany 
the collector^'R in literary famé. 

For example, the treatise of Anaxiroander may hâve been delivered by him orally, and 
retained in memory, and comroitted to writing by pupils after his decease. 

It is not uncommon in early stages of society for groups of facts or ideas to range 
themselves around and cling to famous names, as witness the later improvements or alterationy 
generally ascribed to Solon and Lycurgus. And so, too, perhaps the Phœnician alphabet 
was attributed to the mythological Cadmus; so that it is not unlikely that cminent Xoyiof, 
tnay hâve had anonymous compositions accredited to them on this principle *' — ut in licenti^ 
vetustatis/' We ought not to forget the tendeucy of the unlearned to invest existing 
institutions with the mystery and sanctity of great âge, to whi^ch the trait just noticed is in 
part referrible. 

Again, the bibltomania which affected the later Greeks, particularly in the second century 
B.c., might give occasion for much literary forgery. And even before that time Heraclides 
Ponticus is accused of this dishonesty. It was very natural for men of a clerkly âge to 
assume that composition and writing were inséparable, Moreover mistaken national pride 
tended to the fostering of such a potion. 

This assumption renders any appeal to late authors from upholders of the contrary 
opinion to their own, not only utterly futile but also quite unnecessary ; and bas en- 
cumbered the whole subject with a ma^ of legendsand théories which hâve well nigb 

overwhelmed the truth. 

« 

Thirdly, touching the alleged necessity of convenient writing material for registration, 
which Solon instituted at Athens. The register of 20,000 citizens and 200,000 soûls (to take 
maximum numbers), assuming a quarter of the population to hold taxable property — 
giving 8 Unes to an inch and 6 inches to the length of each line — would, according to the 
most libéral computation, make the register amount to less than 200 tablets of two feet 
square: the writing of which, a division of labour would make quite possible without 
convenient materials for book writing '. 

Fourthly, with regard to the Legends. 

We hâve numerous instances, as I hâve shown, of poets ascribing a remote antiquity to 
graving, besides the most popular Cadmeian legend. Stesichorus assigiis the invention to 
Palamedes. CoU Mure says he could not hâve done so had it not bcen then notorioqs 
ampng well-informed. men that books had been familiar from time immémorial*. He forget3 
that Stesichorus was of Himera, à colony of Chalcidians, who originally came from Eubœa, 
and Palamedes was a Eubœan ; so that, on the contrary assumption to Col. Mure*s, the poet*8 
statement is explicable even without accepting my explanation of the myth. 



^ CoL Mure, Hitt, Bk. m. 7» § 17. 



' CrU. HitL III. 7, § 14. 



OF A WRITTEK GREEK LITERATtTRE. 



19 



Tbe tragedioiiB rêpresent cbaracters even olcler than tbe Trojan iràr as using graviâg of 
letters, and I doubt not tbey believed in tbe older legend. It is natural that tbey sbould dô 
so acoording to my. view^ < 

For three centuries and a balf, perhaps before ^schylus composed bis plays, tbis* graving 
had beei^ employed, and surely a lapse of ten générations in an uneritical âge more tban 
•uflScea lô banish its origin into the wild and wide région of mytb. 

Moreover» bad tbey known tbat tbeir beroes did not and could not Write, it is srîll a 
WDvenient and pardonable anacbronism to represent them as so doing; Too exact a picturè 
of remote scènes and times would remove the notion out of tbe spbere of tbe spectators* 
sympathies. Hence criticism is bound to approve certain conventional licences in tbîs 
particulan 

À very strong argument lies in tbe composite cbaracter of , > \iyea9cu and ouayi^œ» 

ClVCLj 

aK9i¥ : moreover tbey did not mean exclusxvely. ^^ to read,'* but b^d earlier meadings, wbich 
tbey did not lose on being applied in a new sensé ^ Hence it appears tbat tbe language bad 
passed out of tbe early and simple stages before tbis idea required expression. Tbe language 
Gould spare a root for tbis meaning as well as our own could spare '^read/^ wbicb root 
in its signification seems nearest akin to (ppcH^to. 

Again, mark tbe confusion between drawing, painting, and writing. 

In autbors prior to Pindar, except Solon, wbo says Oeafioùç eypa^af ypa^ meant to 
draw or paint, while y^apafraa) and KoXairrw signify to ** inscribe.*' 

I bave noticed tbe double use of ypatpif. rpa^Afiara means pictured forms in two passages 
of Plato, Bep. 472, Phœdr. 275, and one of Theocritus, xv« 81, quoted by Mitford ; also in 
an epigram of Erinna, and Euripides, /on 1146. 

Observe also ptirpal, pr/ràf and note tbe phrase Movaai, tî uovaiKtif for literature. 

I may just mention that formulfe of citation in classical Greek seldom indicate writing. 
Tbere is notbing like the Latin phrase, ** apud aliquem,^ which at once suggests reading. 
Tbis bowever by no means accounts for the absolute silence on the subject of MSS., which 
we bave noticed. 

The writingê of authors below the line I bave drawn are frequently mentioned or 
alluded to by Xenophon, Plato, and Aristotle, as also are MS. copies of early poems*. 

Many of the arguments I bave adduced do not affect my particular theory any more 
tban tbat of Prof, Wolf or Mr Grote, or any other modem view : but, besides having 
abown tbat tbe records of literature do not contain anything répugnant to my position, 
wbat I wisb particularly to insist on as distinctly in its favour is tbat by it an 
adéquate cause is assigned for the apparent anomaly of a philosophical system evolved 



0,ff, Mominteii, HUt. Rom. Bk. i. ch. 2. ^* Language 
CfipceiAllj in the period of its foimation it the une image and 
organ of the degree of ciriliiation atuined ; itH archives pré- 
serve évidence of the great révolution! in arts and in mannera, 
and from iu roUs the future will not fail to draw information 



as to those times regarding which the voice of direct tradition 
is dumb.** 

' e.g, Plato, Prot» 325 £. nraparSiaviv (o\ iiidaicaXoi 
Toîc iraiol) éirl Twy fidOfftoy dvayiyvmvKtiy iroiffTww dyadm» 
iroili/iaTa Kal iiefiaiSâmiv d»ayKd%ovatP. 



20 ON THE FIRST AGES OF ▲ WRITTEN GREEK UTERATURB. 

before histoiy proper was ai ail studied^ and also for tbe sudden and astooishiog Btait of 
historical inqnirj and oomposition fram infancy to full growth soon after rà Mif^urcu 
The line tbat I haye drawn there is not arbitrary ; le» so, in faetf than any that I 
know of. 

Lastljr. The method of éducation among the Hellènes,— their elaborate cuUivation of 
musicy-^their fondness for récitation of ail kinds— «which found Tent in a dramatic and 
rhetoric excellenoe» whereby Athens bas been in thèse departments the instructress of tbe 
dvilized world,*-.tbeir wonderful dialectic, depending on vigorous reasoning power^ supported 
by habits of attention and rétention, now almost unknown, — ail thèse features, I say, suggest 
so dearly a {Molonged absence of written literature that the contemplation of them over- 
whelms ail yague generalities which can be adduced in defence of the adverse opinion ; and 
moreoyer, if they point to any definite period as constituting the boundary between tbe 
distinct epochs of oral tradition and written literature, it is that which bas been sdected by 
Mr Paley and unworthily adyocated in this paper. 

C. A. M. FENNELL. 



ne 





-» \jât'